The now 88-year-old woman who caused the chain of events leading up to the murder of 14-year-old Till is said to have cancer.
Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman who started the chain of events leading up to the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, is reportedly receiving hospice care in Kentucky.
The Daily Mail published photos of Donham, who is 88, and reported that she is near the end of her life, sick with cancer. It noted that Donham is also legally blind and often requires the use of oxygen.
The news outlet’s reporters approached her home — located in a city they wouldn’t disclose — and asked if she’d like to talk about Emmett Till. Her 71-year-old son, Thomas Bryant, shook his head no as his mother stood silently nearby.
It was Donham, a white 21-year-old, who told her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his brother, JW Milam, that Till had whistled at her in August 1955. The men kidnapped the Black Chicago teen from the Mississippi home of relatives he was visiting. They then killed him and wrapped a large metal fan around his neck with wire before dumping him in the Tallahatchie River. His body, horribly mutilated, was found three days later.
When his mother, Mamie Till, chose to bury him in an open coffin, outrage over his murder reverberated across the country. The crime is considered one of the sparks of the modern civil rights movement.
As previously reported by theGrio, an unserved warrant was discovered in June accusing Donham of kidnapping. A team searching for evidence of the murder found the document in a file folder in a box in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse. A member of the Till family said the woman should be served and then charged. The discovery of the arrest warrant has led supporters to seek out Bryant, with a group entering a North Carolina senior citizen center last month to look for her.
Recently, an unpublished autobiography of Donham called “I am More Than A Wolf Whistle” was provided to the Associated Press. According to previous reporting by theGrio, in the manuscript, Donham claims she was trying to help Till.
“I wished Emmett no harm and couldn’t avoid being harmed because I didn’t know what was going to happen to him,” Donham says in the manuscript her daughter-in-law compiled. “I tried to protect him by telling Roy, ‘It’s not him. That’s not him. Please take him home.’”
She claims in the manuscript that Till, who was dragged from a family home at gunpoint in the middle of the night, spoke up and identified himself.
Donham wrote that she “always felt like a victim, as did Emmett” and “paid dearly with a changed life” for what happened to the targeted teen.
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The post Report: Emmett Till’s Accuser, Carolyn Bryant Donham, in Kentucky Receiving Hospice Care appeared first on TheGrio.