Tag: Mamie Till

Will Smith and Jay Z To Produce HBO Mini-Series About Emmett Till

Will Smith and Jay Z found success when they signed on as producers for the Broadway musical Fela, and now the two will team up again to produce an HBO mini series about Emmett Till.

Entertainment Weekly reports the two, along with Jay Brown, James Lassiter, and Aaron Kaplan are executive producing the untitled mini series. Till was a 14 year-old from Chicago sent to spend the summer in Mississippi. One evening, Till was kidnapped from his bedroom and savagely beaten by white men because he whistled at a white woman. At Till’s funeral, his mother Mamie had an open casket to showcase the brutality of her son’s death.

Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the men responsible for Till murder, were found not guilty of their crimes, but later publicly admitted their involvment. Currently there are no writers for the mini series or an expected release date.

Earlier this year, famed film critic Roger Ebert‘s widow, Chaz Ebert, announced her own Emmett Till project.  We are not sure if both these Till projects will see the light of day, but we certainly hope so.  The more the history of African Americans is explored, and this particular turning point in the early struggle for racial justice and civil rights, the better.

Chaz Ebert to Produce Emmett Till Biopic

Chaz Ebert poses for a portrait at the 'THE END OF THE TOUR' Screening at Virginia Theatre on April 16, 2015 in Champaign, Illinois
Chaz Ebert (Photo via eurweb.com)

Shatterglass Films and Chaz Ebert, the wife of the late Roger Ebert, said they will adapt the Emmett Till book “Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America” into a feature film.

The book, co-written by Till’s mother Mamie Till and journalist Christopher Benson, was nominated for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the death of Till, who was 14 years old and visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was slain after allegedly whistling at a white woman. The 1955 murder made headlines around the world and set in motion the civil rights movement that was to come.

Emmett Till

His story has been the subject of several documentaries including the 2003 PBS American Experience film “The Murder Of Emmett Till” and Keith Beauchamp’s 2003 “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.”

“The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today, and Shatterglass Films are the people to tell it,” Ebert said.

The plan is to wrap principal photography next year after shoots in Chicago, the Mississippi Delta and Central Illinois, according to Deadline.com.

article via eurweb.com

Tree Planted at the U.S. Capitol in Memory of Emmett Till

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The Capitol building sits on a 59-acre park that includes hundreds of trees.  The newest, a sycamore, was planted Monday, in memory of a black teenager who, nearly 60 years ago, was murdered for whistling at a white woman, helped spark the civil rights movement.

imagesHis name was Emmett Till.

On August 28th, 1955, the Chicago teen was taken by a group of white men from his great-uncle’s home while visiting Money, Miss. His shot and battered body was found three days later in a nearby river. Two white men were acquitted. At Till’s funeral, his mother Mamie proclaimed: Let the world see what they did to my boy.

Fifty thousand people filed by his open casket.

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A plaque is seen at the base of a tree planted in honor of Emmett Till on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, 11/17114. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson says Till’s murder served as a catalyst for supporters of civil rights.

“All those people who are about his age, you are about 14 in 1955, then became the front ranks of the civil rights movement,” said Nelson.

Perhaps this young American Sycamore Tree will help keep Till’s memory alive.

article by Elaine Quijano via cbsnews.com