Emmett Till Square
Emmett Till Square

Pass The Popcorn: 'Till' Aims To Retell The Civil Rights Story Of Emmett Till

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Six decades on and the murder of Emmett Till rings as tragic and true as ever. Till was lynched in 1955, and in the wake of his murder Mamie Till Mobley, his mother, took actions that would help to foster the American Civil Rights movement. Now, a new film will re-tell these stories and bring present-day audiences closer to the determination, hate, pain and hope that helped to change an entire nation. Produced by a team that includes filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, Whoopi Goldberg, and Till's own cousin Simeon Wright, Till is currently in production--and seeking the support of those who agree that such a story demands a filmic tribute. A new Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has been established for the film--one which offers a succinct retelling of what happened in 1955:

In the summer of 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old youth from Chicago, travelled down to Mississippi to visit his uncle and cousins. While standing outside a country store in Money, MS, Emmett whistled at Carolyn Bryant, young, attractive woman. Her husband, Roy Bryant, and his brother, JW Milam, came under the cover of night and abducted Emmett from his uncle’s home. Three days later, Emmett’s body was found in the Tallahatchie River, beaten beyond recognition.

Mamie Till Mobley managed to have his body shipped back to Chicago, where she ordered an open casket funeral, generating national news coverage, with over 50,000 visitors, and subsequent public outrage.

In Mississippi, Roy Bryant and JW Milam were arrested and tried for the murder of Emmett Till. After five days, an all white jury found the men not guilty. A photo of Emmett’s disfigured face published in Jet magazine has become a worldwide sensation, shocking not only the black community but also others worldwide.

The campaign page already includes a compelling trailer, and is seeking to raise $50,000 to help cover production and development costs. At press time, nearly $15,000 of that total has been raised, with just under a month left remaining. Watch the trailer for Till, and consider donating, over at Kickstarter.