Sixty-two years ago on August 28, Carolyn Bryant Donham, a White woman, told a lie that got a fourteen year-old boy killed. The 62nd anniversary comes just days after the nation witnessed racial terror inCharlottesville, Virginia, and at a time of a widening racial divide that has deepened amid the country’s political environment.
Emmett Till was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered after Donham accused him of whistling at her at the Bryant Grocery Store in Mississippi. Roy Bryant, Donham’s then-husband, and J. W. Milam kidnapped and brutally murdered Till. Mamie Till held an open-casket funeral for her son so that the world could see what the men had done to her boy. Donham has since admitted that she lied.
Community Activist Duvalier Malone is organizing efforts to bring Donham to justice for her part in this heinous crime, according to a statement from Jamar Muhammad with Theatrical Harmony Media. In February, Malone led the Emmett Till Rally in Washington, D.C., to demand justice and an apology from the woman who never made amends for her lie. Donham never even reached out to Mamie Till, the mother who lost her fourteen year-old son to a lie. Mamie Till lived until 2003.
“We are demanding justice and an apology for the lie of Carolyn Bryant,” Malone says in the statement. “We have read legal opinions and opinions of many in the public that said no charges can happen. They also go on to say that the statute of limitations have run out. Today, we say where is justice for Emmett Till? We demand it. We want it. But, we just don’t want a conviction, we want an apology.”
Donham only admitted her lie to a White author, Timothy Tyson, who has since put her testimony “under lock and key,” the Amsterdam News reports. Donham’s confession is under restriction until 2036. Malone and others are calling for immediate apology to Till’s remaining family.
In a February press conference, Malone said, “We must refuse to sit back on the 62nd anniversary of Emmett Till death and be silent. We must demand that justice be served.” Although Malone has been advised that the statute of limitations has run out, he still wants an apology from Malone. In February, Malone and other protesters demanded that the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Mississippi Attorney General reopen the case.