We all know the story of the horrific murder of Emmett Till. For those who don’t remember, I’ll give you the cliff notes: While visiting his cousins in Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till was abducted, tortured, and lynched after being accused of flirting with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, and whistling at her during the height of the Jim Crow era. Till’s brutal murder and the fact that his killers, J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, were acquitted, made him an icon of the civil rights movement.
Now, a film from the perspective of Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, is set to release in October and we got a look at the first trailer.
Emmett Till’s story is always told the same way. Never before have we had the opportunity to see the aftermath of his murder through the lens of his mother’s pain and strength. The film follows her journey as she navigates the path of grief while fighting for justice. In the trailer, Mamie Till Mobley (Danielle Deadwyler), tells a crowd of people, “The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us anywhere in the world had better be the business of us all.”
Decades later, a team searching the basement of a Mississippi courthouse in June for evidence regarding Emmett Till’s lynching have found an unserved warrant charging a white woman for his 1955 kidnapping. Till’s relatives, who initiated the courthouse search, are demanding that Carolyn Bryant Donham, now almost 90-years-old, be served her warrant and arrested.
Just this past week, the Associated Press reported that a Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict. After more than 7 hours of testimony from investigators and witnesses, a Leflore grand jury believed that there was not enough evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham on the charges of kidnapping and manslaughter. Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr., Emmett Till’s cousin and last living witness to Till’s abduction, said that the decision to not indict was “unfortunate but predictable.”
“The prosecutor tried his best, and we appreciate his efforts, but he alone cannot undo hundreds of years of anti-Black systems that guaranteed those who killed Emmett Till would go unpunished, to this day. The fact remains that the people who abducted, tortured, and murdered Emmett did so in plain sight, and our American justice system was and continues to be set up in such a way that they could not be brought to justice for their heinous crimes.”
Till will release in theaters on October 14, 2022.
In the meantime, here’s how to support BLM for free.
Photo via United Artists