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Eyes on the Prize
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Roy Bryant (1931-1994) and J. W. Milam (1919-1981)

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Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, charged with the murder of Emmett Till, sitting in a courtroom with an attorney, Sept 19, 1955.

In the fall of 1955, half-brothers Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were put on trial for the murder of a black fourteen-year-old named Emmett Till who had allegedly flirted with Bryant's wife. The jury acquitted the two white men on the grounds that Till's mutilated body could not be positively identified. In a later, paid interview with Look Magazine, the two Mississippians admitted to the murder, claiming that they had only intended to scare the boy but because the stuttering teenager would not repent, they had to kill him. "Well, what else could we do?" Milam told his interviewer. A boycott of their stores by the black community eventually drove Bryant and Milam out of business.

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