After hearing more than seven hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, a Leflore County grand jury last week determined there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on charges of kidnapping and manslaughter.
A cultural preservation organization announced Tuesday that the house will receive a share of $3 million in grants being distributed to 33 sites and organizations nationwide that are important pieces of African American history.
“There’s no new evidence to open the case back up,” Michelle Williams, chief of staff for Attorney General Lynn Fitch, told The Associated Press.
In an unpublished memoir obtained by The Associated Press, Carolyn Bryant Donham says she was unaware of what would happen to the 14-year-old Till, who lived in Chicago and was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was abducted, killed and tossed in a river.
In the basement of a Mississippi courthouse in late June members of the Minnesota-based Emmett Till Legacy Foundation discovered an unserved warrant. Now the foundation, which includes members of Till’s family, is demanding that the warrant be served.
A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document — was discovered last week by searchers inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
They want authorities to launch a kidnapping prosecution against the woman who set off the lynching by accusing the Black Chicago teen of improper advances in 1955.
Biden acknowledged the long delay during remarks in the Rose Garden to lawmakers, administration officials and civil rights advocates, stressing how the violent deaths of Black Americans were used to intimidate them and prevent them from voting simply because of their skin color.
Authorities have known for decades that Carolyn Bryant Donham, now in her 80s and living in North Carolina, played a key role in Emmett Till’s slaying, and they need to act immediately to bring her to justice before time runs out, said Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till.
Years in the making, the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act is among some 200 bills that have been introduced over the past century that have tried to ban lynching in America. It is named for the Black teenager from Chicago whose brutal killing in Mississippi in 1955 became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights era.
On Monday, “Chicago Tonight” co-host and “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” host Brandis Friedman moderated the latest edition of our “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” community conversation series in a discussion focused on the legacy of Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley.
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced the bill to honor Emmett Till and his mother with the highest civilian honor that Congress awards.
Two white men, Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam, were tried on murder charges about a month after Emmett Till was killed, but an all-white Mississippi jury acquitted them.
Recipients of money from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund include a consortium of civil rights sites and Black churches in Alabama; work to establish an African American heritage trail in Colorado; and preservation of the church where Emmett Till's funeral was held in Chicago after his lynching in Mississippi in 1955.
ABC will air a short-run series “Women of the Movement” next season about Mamie Till-Mobley, whose son Emmett Till became a symbol of the civil rights movement after he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955.