The Story of Emmett Till's Mother is Coming to ABC, Thanks to Jay-Z and Will Smith - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine Summer 2019 Issue

Following a five-year delay, the story of Emmett Till’s horrific murder told through the eyes of his mother will come to life. On Monday, ABC announced that Mamie Till-Mobley will be the focus of the first season of Women of the Movement, a new anthology series that chronicles the civil rights movement “as told by the women behind it,” according to reports by Vulture. The series will be executive produced by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will Smith.

The first eight-episode season is loosely based on the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by author Devery S. Anderson. It will center on Mamie Till, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son after he was brutally murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. He was then kidnapped, beaten, shot in the head, and thrown into the Tallahatchie River by white men at just 14 years old. During his funeral, Till’s mother insisted on an open-casket so that the world could see the severity of his attack through images of his mutilated body. Although Till’s killers were acquitted by an all-white jury, his murder was a key catalyst in the launch of the civil rights movement.

Carter and Smith initially pitched the story of Mamie Till-Mobley to HBO as a six-hour miniseries years ago, but the project was stalled at the network. Once it left HBO, the producers modified the pitch to focus on multiple women who played a pivotal role in the fight for equality during the civil rights era. According to Deadline, Rosa Parks will be the subject of the second season in the anthology series.

This won’t be the first time that Carter and Smith have teamed up. The megastars previously partnered to produce the Fela Kuti-inspired Broadway musical Fela! as well as the 2014 film remake of Annie.


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