Jeff from Montgomery, Alabama used to know a kid named Deroyal Carter.
The lynching/Tuskegee part caught my eye first. Then the full name clicked. I've asked around, and there are people who know the name. People ask if it's the same guy; the age is about right, we agree...
In Tallassee, AL, not very far away at all, football is a religion in the truest Alabama sense of the word. Deroyal Carter was a player in Pee Jinks (little league) who starred in fall 1986. I did P.A. announcing for the games.
Fall of 1991, I worked the ticket gate. Our neighbor coached the junior varsity. They dominated all their competition. Among the standouts on that tearm was a tailback and kick returner named Deroyal Carter.
The Wall Street church where the funeral was held is just down the road from where my dad grew up, maybe 2 miles. It's a very small world, indeed. . . .
I'm asking everyone I know with any Tallassee connections what, if anything, they might have heard. I'll keep asking. And share whatever I might find.
But it seems there truly is nothing new under the sun.
There's a saying in the Jerusalem Talmud, "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world" (San. 4:1, 22a). That world begins with a tight circle of family and then moves outward in wider concentric circles. Jeff may have been in Deroyal Carter's orbit. My sympathies are with him if this was the case. And if Winston Carter wasn't Jeff's Deroyal, there are others for whom he was. May his memory be a blessing.