Duke scholar revealed new information about Emmett Till murder. Now, the DOJ is reopening the case

Emmett Till was found dead at the age of 14 after allegedly flirting with a white woman. An all-white jury acquitted the men who were accused of murdering Till.

But a book published in 2017 by Duke professor Tim Tyson shifted that narrative, revealing for the first time that the woman who was supposedly flirted with by the black 14-year-old admitted to fabricating part of her story. 

Now, the Department of Justice is re-opening an investigation into Till's death.

Tyson, senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies, published "The Blood of Emmett Till" last year, shedding new light on the 1955 lynching. The book has gained national acclaim, picking up the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in May and making the long list for the National Book Award last year.

In his 2008 interview with the woman who alleged Till flirted with her, she said that nothing Till did “could ever justify what happened to him."

“America has narrated the 1955 lynching of this 14-year-old black boy in Mississippi as a Southern horror movie, set in some distant and exotic Dixie, starring Redneck Frankenstein,” Tyson wrote in an email to The Chronicle in May. 

The case was closed in 2007, but the DOJ informed Congress in a report earlier this year that they were re-opening it “after receiving new information," according to the Washington Post

“This tale of monsters leaves us feeling morally superior because few Americans then or now approve of the lynching of children," Tyson wrote in May. "The truth is that the lynching of Emmett Till was an inevitable by-product of American history and the social system in which this murder was embedded.”

Check back for updates to this developing story.


Share and discuss “Duke scholar revealed new information about Emmett Till murder. Now, the DOJ is reopening the case” on social media.