The white woman whose accusations against Emmett Till resulted in his senseless death has died.
On Thursday (April 27), Mississippi Today reported that Carolyn Bryant Donham passed away in hospice care at 88. The outlet shared Donham was battling with cancer.
Before her passing, she was most known for her involvement in the 1955 lynching death of 14-year-old Till. That year, the young Black boy traveled south to visit family in Drew, Mississippi. While at a grocery store, Donham alleged Till made improper advances toward her. He was later kidnapped, tortured, brutally beaten, and murdered.
According to Fox 61, evidence later indicated that Donham’s then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam were responsible for Till’s brutal killing. Weeks after his body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River, Bryant and Milam were tried for murder. However, an all-white jury acquitted both men.
Death is not justice.
An arrest warrant was issued for Carolyn Bryant Donham in August 1955 related to the murder of Emmett Till. But it was never served. Instead, she was able to live a full life to 88 years old.
Emmett Till only lived to 14 years old. This is not justice. pic.twitter.com/nwYAdGHqzv
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 27, 2023
A few months later, the outlet shared that Bryant and Milam admitted to killing Till in a paid interview with Look magazine. In Chicago, Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, held an open-casket funeral for him. She was adamant about everyone seeing what was done to her son. Jet magazine later published photos of his mutilated body.
For over 70 years, Till’s family has worked tirelessly to get justice for their slain loved one. On Feb. 7, the 14-year-old’s cousin, Patricia Sterling, filed a lawsuit against Ricky Banks, the current sheriff in Leflore County.
The suit intended to force the officer to issue an arrest warrant to Donham before her death. In a previous report, an unserved mandate was publicized in 1955 but was “swept under the rug” by the former county’s sheriff. In 2022, a Mississippi grand jury declined to indict the 88-year-old due to “lack of evidence.” Also last year, a historical drama about the tragic death of Till and what Mobley did to seek justice afterward appeared in theaters.
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