Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose lynching allegation against Emmett Till, died at the age of 88.
The 88-year-old was receiving hospice care as she was battling cancer.
Donham accused Till of wolf-whistling at her when he was 14 and she was 21 in 1955 in Mississippi.
Who is Carolyn Bryant Donham?
Born in 1935, Carolyn Bryant Donham was the woman whom a 14-year-old African American boy allegedly offended. The African American boy named Emmett Till was abducted, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending.
His murder’s ferocity and the fact that his assailants were found not guilty brought to light the long history of violent discrimination against African Americans in the United States. Up before his posthumous status as a symbol of the civil rights movement.
He was visiting family in the Mississippi Delta, close to Money, Mississippi, in August 1955 while on summer vacation. He spoke with Carolyn Bryant, a married white owner of a small grocery store nearby, who was 21 years old. Till was charged with flirting with, touching, or whistling at Bryant despite the fact that what transpired at the store is still up for debate. Perhaps unknowingly, Till’s relationship with Bryant broke the unspoken rules of conduct for a black man dealing with a white woman in the Jim Crow South.
A few nights after the incident in the store, Till’s great-uncle’s home was the scene of an armed kidnapping by Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam. He was taken away, beaten, and dismembered before being shot in the head and having his remains lowered into the Tallahatchie River. The boy’s damaged and bloated body was found and pulled from the river three days later.
An all-white jury exonerated Bryant and Milam of Till’s murder in September 1955.