The Blood Of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson is an eye opening nonfiction novel about a young African American boy named Emmett living in the 50’s and 60’s. Emmett grew up in Mississippi and Chicago with his mother Mamie. Mamie struggled to keep a job and suffered through multiple divorces, but Emmett always brought her joy. That's why when Emmett got homesick one day, Mamie allowed him go to Mississippi for the summer to live with his aunt and uncle. While he was there he enjoyed playing with his cousins. One day his uncle let him and his cousins, who were almost all older than him, go get a treat from the market in town. Each of them individually paid for their snack and went to get back into the car. When it was Emmett’s turn to pay, he flirted with the cashier, Carolyn Bryant, and pulled her hand towards him. He then chased her around the counter and grabbed her waist. He left the store and Carolyn went out to get her gun for protection. As the boys left, Emmett let out a wolf whistle, but stopped when he saw the pistol. Later that night Emmett was kidnapped by Carolyn’s husband and cousins. They took him away, drove off, and “just whipped him.” Three days later Till’s body was found in a nearby river. The murders were convicted of murder, but were never charged and were let go because they were white. The problem? Half of the story I just told you wasn’t true. That's just what Bryant said in court.
The fact than she was lying the whole time is what really made the novel interesting to me. And the fact that the book is based on a true story. I found the novel to be quite eye opening. It showed me the truth behind what white people really did to African Americans at the time. I had always known white people had been very aggressive towards African Americans, but I never knew the horror that is the truth. I suppose parents don’t teach you these things for a reason...it’s sickening. Although it is disturbing, I am grateful to learn the truth and to see how far we’ve come since African American’s were granted their freedom. But we still have so far to go.
The novel is a bit difficult to understand at times if you don't quite comprehend certain references, but in all it is a fairly easy read. Don’t be mistaken though, just because it’s an easy read doesn’t change the fact than the book is still quite compelling and captivating. I would rate the novel an 8/10 in a whole, but a 10/10 in the entertaining factor.
If you are interested in multicultural novels or history in general, this book is definitely for you. The Blood Of Emmett Till really goes at it when it comes to multicultural and it teaches you a lot about history in the 50’s and 60’s. Also, if you are going to read this book or have read this book, you should probably know a theme or two, especially if it’s for a class. One theme is, the truth will always come out. I would explain why and when this theme is revealed, but I’d spoil it.
In the end, I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone, even if you aren’t interested in the subject. The book really gives you a good look at the past and I think everyone should have a good idea about America’s history. It is truly a fascinating novel that many teens and adults will find engaging.