ABC Orders Limited Series on Emmett Till’s Mother and Her Search for Justice

Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley (Credit: Library of Congress)

On the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s death, ABC on Friday announced it will tell the story of Mamie Till Mobley’s search for justice following the murder of her teenage son.

Emmett was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta region, when he was accused of whistling at a white woman at a local store. Days later, the teenager was abducted, beaten, lynched and shot. He died on Aug. 28, 1955. An all-white jury later acquitted his killers.

ABC’s six-part limited series Women of the Movement will center on the events following Emmett’s brutal death.

“Today marks 65 years since the tragic murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. This limited series will shine a light on the determined pursuit of justice by Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said in a statement. “Their story involves inconceivable heartbreak and brutality but also the enduring love of a mother and her son, galvanizing a movement that carved the path for today’s racial justice movement. We are honored to be bringing their story to ABC backed by an all-star producing team.”

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Writer Marissa Jo Cerar (Shots Fired, 13 Reasons Why and The Handmaid’s Tale) created the series and will serve as showrunner.

“I am thrilled to bring this project to television. It is unfortunately very timely, and my hope is to give the audience a chance to learn who Emmett Till really was – the boy, rather than the victim or the martyr – while also showcasing Mamie’s astonishing strength in the face of a mother’s worst nightmare,” said Cerar.

The series is inspired by the book “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement” by Devery S. Anderson. The first episode will be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard, Love & Basketball, Shots Fired).

Executive producers include Cerar, Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jay Brown, Tyran ‘Ty Ty’ Smith, James Lassiter, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Michael Lohmann, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Rosanna Grace, Alex Foster, John Powers Middleton, David Clark.

Women of the Movement will debut in 2021.