Intriguing Family History
The legacy of Carolyn Bryant, a name deeply intertwined with the tragic story of Emmett Till’s lynching in the 1950s, extends to her children, Lamar Bryant and Roy Bryant Jr. While Carolyn’s actions in the past cast a long shadow, her sons chose different paths, carving out their own lives away from the spotlight.
Roy Bryant Jr.: A Life Shaped by History
Birth and Early Years
Roy Bryant Jr., Carolyn’s eldest child, came into the world on June 12, 1952, in Indianola, Mississippi. His first year was spent there before the family relocated to Money, Mississippi, in 1953. Despite the tumultuous events that would soon surround his family, Roy Jr. experienced a relatively ordinary upbringing in Money.
The Impact of Tragedy
Roy Jr. was just three years old when his family became entangled in the Emmett Till murder case of 1955. While he couldn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation at that age, the events left an indelible mark on his life. He even accompanied his parents to court during his father’s murder trial, thrusting him into the media’s harsh glare.
Growing up under such scrutiny wasn’t easy, but Roy Jr. managed to navigate life as best as he could. He attended school, actively participating in activities like football, band, and dating, forging lasting friendships along the way.
Life Beyond Controversy
Despite the controversial backdrop of his family’s history, Roy Bryant Jr. managed to build a life of relative normalcy. After completing high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, embarking on a journey that took him to various foreign destinations, including the Philippines. He served honorably before transitioning to civilian life.
Roy Bryant Jr. also embraced the joys of family life. He got married and raised three children – a daughter and two sons – with his wife. For many years, he enjoyed a fulfilling life until his untimely passing on September 29, 1995, at the age of 43. His final resting place is Niblett’s Bluff Cemetery in Vinton, Louisiana.
![Carolyn Bryant (R) with her husband, Roy Sr., during his trial](Image Source)
Lamar Thomas Bryant: Forging His Own Path
Early Life Amidst Controversy
Lamar Thomas Bryant, Carolyn’s second child, was born in 1953 in Money, Mississippi, just as the controversy surrounding his family reached its zenith. Throughout Lamar’s teenage years, the cloud of the Till incident loomed large, casting its shadow on the family. Despite the challenges, Lamar pressed forward.
Military Service and Beyond
Lamar Thomas completed his high school education and followed in his elder brother’s footsteps by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. Like Roy Jr., he served on foreign soil before receiving an honorable discharge.
Today, Lamar Thomas Bryant resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he holds a regular job to support his family. His wife, Marsha Holley Bryant, has been a pillar of support throughout their enduring marriage. Their bond remains strong, and Marsha has played a significant role in caring for Carolyn, Lamar’s aged mother.
While Carolyn lived with them for an extended period, they showered her with love and even replaced her beloved pet dog when it passed away. Recent reports suggest that Carolyn now resides in a care home, but Marsha continues to ensure her well-being and facilitates her interactions with the public.
Frank Lee Bryant: The Third Child
In addition to Lamar and Roy Jr., Carolyn Bryant also welcomed two more children with her former husband, Roy Bryant Sr. One of them is Frank Lee Bryant, born on November 19, 1956. Frank grew up in various locations, including Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. When his parents divorced in 1975, he was about 19 years old.
Championing His Mother’s Cause
Frank Lee spent most of his life in Greenville, Mississippi, where he got married and had children of his own. He maintained a close relationship with his mother, offering support when she faced difficulties, including her divorce from her third husband, David Donham. Frank defended Carolyn when she encountered harassment at her home from a TV show crew.
However, Frank Lee Bryant’s journey came to a tragic end on April 12, 2010, when he passed away due to heart failure at the age of 53. His death deeply affected his mother, but she took solace in the thought that he was now reunited with Roy Jr. Her faith provided her with the strength to cope with this loss.
Carolann: Carolyn’s Daughter
Carolyn Bryant’s family extended to include a daughter named Carolann, born in 1958. Carolann faced unique challenges as she was deaf from birth. Despite the difficulties, Carolyn committed herself to caring for her daughter. She learned sign language to facilitate communication and sought primary custody during her divorce from Roy Bryant Sr.
Carolann attended the Louisiana School for the Deaf, completed high school, and found employment. Eventually, she married her high school sweetheart and settled in Jackson, Mississippi, where she lived for many years.
Key Facts About Carolyn Bryant Donham’s Children
- Who Are Carolyn Bryant Donham’s Children? Carolyn Bryant Donham has two children: Lamar Bryant and Roy Bryant Jr.
- Who Was Carolyn Bryant Donham? Carolyn Bryant Donham was the woman whose accusation led to the 1955 lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi. Her testimony against Till resulted in a brutal act by her then-husband, Roy Bryant, and another man, J.W. Milam.
- Did Carolyn Bryant Donham Recant Her Testimony Against Emmett Till? Yes, in 2008, Carolyn Bryant Donham reportedly recanted part of her testimony in an interview with professor Timothy Tyson. She claimed that Emmett Till had not grabbed her hand and waist or propositioned her, contrary to her earlier statements.
- What Was the Outcome of the Trial for Emmett Till’s Murder? The trial ended with the acquittal of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam by an all-White jury. However, both men later confessed to the murder in a 1956 interview with Look magazine.
- How Did the Bryant Family Live During the 1955 Incident? At the time of Emmett Till’s killing, Carolyn Bryant Donham, her husband Roy Bryant, and their two sons, Lamar Bryant and Roy Bryant Jr., lived in rooms at the back of their family-run grocery store, Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market.
- Were There Any Attempts to Indict Carolyn Bryant Donham? Yes, a grand jury in Mississippi considered evidence and testimony regarding Carolyn Bryant Donham’s involvement in the kidnapping and death of Till but found insufficient evidence to indict her on kidnapping and manslaughter charges.
- Where Does Carolyn Bryant Donham Live Now? As of 2022, Carolyn Bryant Donham lives with her son, Lamar Thomas Bryant, in Kentucky, where she is receiving end-of-life hospice care. She is 88 years old.
- What Business Did the Bryant Family Run? The Bryant family ran a small grocery store called Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market. They lived in two small rooms at the back of the store.
- What Is the Current Health Condition of Carolyn Bryant Donham? Carolyn Bryant Donham is battling cancer and receiving hospice care. She is on oxygen and living with her son, Lamar Thomas Bryant, in Kentucky.
- Did the Authorities Try to Arrest Carolyn Bryant Donham? Yes, an arrest warrant was issued but went unserved, along with other revelations that came to light in her unpublished memoir.
- What Did Carolyn Bryant Donham Do After the Incident with Emmett Till? It is not clear what Carolyn Bryant Donham did immediately after the incident. However, she eventually moved to Kentucky, where she now lives with her son, Lamar Thomas Bryant.
- How Did the Incident with Emmett Till Impact Carolyn Bryant Donham’s Children? There isn’t detailed information on how the incident with Emmett impacted her children, Lamar and Roy Jr., but it undoubtedly cast a long shadow over their lives.