Who are Carolyn Bryant’s Sons: Lamar Bryant and Roy Bryant Jr. and Where are They Now?

Carolyn Bryant’s sons are Lamar Bryant and Roy Bryant Jr., former members of the U.S. Air Force whose mother, Carolyn, was at the center of the lynching death of Emmett Till in the 1950s.

For context, Carolyn Bryant is an American woman who is best remembered for accusing the late 14-year-old Emmett Till of sexual harassment in August 1955. Following the accusation, her husband Roy Bryant and his stepbrother J.W. Milam abducted the young Black boy who was visiting family in Mississippi, beat him up, shot him, and dumped his body in a river.

Thus, Carolyn became a centerpiece in a horrific murder case and as is to be expected, the public began to show massive interest in the lives of all the parties involved (directly and indirectly) in the case, including those of her sons, even as they grew into men.

Who is Carolyn Bryant’s First Child, Roy Bryant?

Carolyn Bryant’s first son was named Roy Bryant Jr., after his father. Because of the controversial events surrounding his life, many of his details have been kept away from the public, including his age, date of birth, and the schools he attended.

Notwithstanding the limitations placed upon the public, it has been deduced that Roy Jr. was likely born in late 1951, in Mississippi, USA. He was born to Carolyn and Roy Bryant, two of the key figures involved in the 1955 Emmett Till murder case.

He grew up in seclusion alongside his younger brother, Lamar. The names of the schools he attended aren’t publicly available, and it is yet to be ascertained whether he is a college graduate or not.

In the same vein, very little is known about his adult life as well, and there are no records of either a wife or children anywhere. Now calculated to be 73 years old, Roy Jr. is much advanced in age or possibly dead, although there is no way to confirm this as yet. His entire existence has been kept secret and is likely to remain so.

Lamar Bryant is Her Second Son

Lamar Bryant is known to many as Carolyn Bryant’s second son. He was born two years after his older brother Roy and is believed to be the last son Carolyn ever bore. His year of birth is calculated to be 1953, and if this is correct then he must be around 71 years old currently.

Lamar, much like his brother, has been kept away from public view in the decades since his family first came into public notoriety. There is nothing on him in detail like his exact date of birth and the schools he attended among other things

As an adult, his career path and personal life are also safely kept away from the public, so nobody knows the identities of his wife and children if he has any. Much like his brother, Lamar has escaped public scrutiny for almost his entire life.

How Did Carolyn Bryant’s Case on Emmett Till Affect Her Children?

Carolyn and Roy Bryant with their sons, Lamar and Roy Jr. image source

When Carolyn’s husband and step-brother-in-law allegedly murdered Emmett Till, Roy Jr. and Lamar were four and two years old respectively. Honestly speaking, nobody but Roy Jr. and Lamar themselves can explain how the events of 1955 affected their lives. Although much of what happened to them has been carefully kept out of public records, it’s quite likely that they still went on to live very normal lives.

After the case had settled down a bit, Carolyn and Roy’s marriage lasted only a couple more years before she divorced him and relocated with her kids. She would go on to remarry two more times in her lifetime. As to how the boys fared in her new marriages before they finally became adults, nothing has been revealed.

In the late 2000s, word got out that Carolyn had lost one of her sons, we do not know exactly which of them it is as the information was never confirmed by any member of the family.

Carolyn’s Lies Led to the Murder of Emmett Till 

Born in 1934 in Mississippi, Carolyn Donham Bryant is the daughter of a plantation manager and a nurse. She got married to a man named Roy Bryant and together they operated a grocery store called Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market.

On August 24, 1955, Emmett, who was known as someone who loved to play pranks on people, came into the store to buy candy and had an exchange with Carolyn, who was 21 at the time. Sadly, details of what transpired between them are unclear. However, Carolyn alleged that the 14-year-old boy grabbed her hand while she was stocking candy and asked her out on a date.

She went on to claim that after she freed herself from his hold, he followed her to the cash register, grabbed her waist, said some vulgar things, and then whistled at her when she left.

Meanwhile, Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant was away on a business trip on the day of the incident. Upon his return on August 27, he was told what happened. Roy contacted J.W. Milam, his half-brother, and together, they drove to Emmett Till’s great uncle Mose Wright’s house (where he stayed) at about 2/ 3:30 a.m. on August 28, 1955, and took him. They beat him up very badly, shot him in the head, and threw his lifeless body in a river.

Roy and Milam, both of whom are white, were later arrested and the matter was taken to court. However, none of them were convicted of the crime even when a lot of evidence proved that they had murdered the boy. Thanks to an all-white jury that declared them not guilty. The poor handling of the case sparked a nationwide civil rights movement that lasted throughout the remainder of the 20th century.

The Truth Unveiled

After the trial ended, Roy and Milam confessed to murdering Emmett during an interview with Look Magazine. Carolyn also confessed that she lied about what Emmett said and did to her on the day he came to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in a book titled The Blood of Emmett Till (2017).

According to her, he neither said anything to her nor touched her in any way. Carolyn actually reached out to the author of the book, Timothy Tyson, because she was writing her own memoirs. As recorded by Timothy, while Carolyn was happy that times have changed, she did not clearly ask to be forgiven rather, she mentioned feeling “tender sorrow” towards Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett’s mother.

Following the revelation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reopened the case but closed it again in December 2021 because they were not able to prove that Carolyn had lied. The DOJ disclosed that when Carolyn was asked about the recantation, she “denied to the FBI that she ever recanted her testimony.”

Unfortunately, Timothy could not produce the tape on which he recorded the recantation nor could he find a copy of it that was transcribed by his assistant. Meanwhile, after the incident, Carolyn’s life became extremely secluded, and not much has been heard from her to date.

Roy and Milam on the other hand were never able to live a normal life as most people never wanted to associate with them. Milam died of spinal cancer on December 30, 1980, at the age of 61 while Roy also died of cancer on September 1, 1994, at the age of 63.

Chidiebube has been writing and editing articles on movies, entertainment and other juicy things for several years. When he is not writing, he spends time outdoors, lost in the beauty of nature or simply travelling around the world. Thank goodness he can do the later with any internet-enabled device


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