Will Smith & Jay Z To Produce Mini-Series On Life & Murder Of Emmett Till

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Today (July 25) is the birthday of Emmett Till. He would have been 74 years old. The Chicago, Illinois native was murdered on August 28, 1955 while visiting family in Money, Mississippi. Then just 14 years old, Emmett—who was Black—spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant. In the hours that followed, Till was kidnapped, beaten, brutally tortured, and ultimately shot, before he was thrown in the nearby Tallahatchie River, tied to a cotton gin. Following a 67-minute deliberation that September, an all-white jury acquitted defendants Bryant and husband Leslie Milam.

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Till’s mother, Mamie Till Bradley, held an open-casket funeral for her son following his death. In Chicago, the photographed, public event is widely considered to be a leading touchstone in bringing awareness to the hatred, injustice, and brutality of racism in 1950s America.

According to MSN, Will Smith and Jay Z, production partners of the recent Annie film adaptation, have announced plans to produce a mini-series on the life and murder of Emmett Till for HBO. Production dates, cast, and team have not been revealed. Previously, Smith starred in 2001’s Ali, a biopic on iconic boxer and another Civil Rights figure, Muhammad Ali.

In 2015, do you think TV viewers can apply the life, murder, and trial surrounding Emmett Till to recent events?

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