Book Review: “The Blood of Emmett Till” by Timothy B. Tyson

Posted: August 29, 2017 in Book Reviews
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The Blood of Emmett TillThe Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As with Blood Done Sign My Name, the sordid story of widespread white supremacism that led to racist murder in Oxford, NC in 1970, Timothy B. Tyson has yet again masterfully shone the light on how entrenched racism has been – and, in many ways, still is – in the South.

The story of Emmett Till is one that I was vaguely familiar with, but Tyson’s book uncovers all the details, from that hot August night in the Mississippi delta when Till was gruesomely executed (the details are hard to read, and even harder to comprehend) to the wider and longer history of blacks and whites in Mississippi (it is downright ugly – a face of extreme injustice and unfairness), and the less talked about, but visceral racism of the supposedly more enlightened Northern and Midwestern United States.

What Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Bradley, said in an interview for this book stuck with me because it provided a succinct summary of terror and fear: “But I do know this: somewhere between the fact we know and the anxiety we feel is the reality we live.”

I highly recommend this book.

View all my reviews

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