ABC Orders Limited Series on Emmett Till's Mother's Search for Justice

Mamie Till Mobley
Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images

'Women of the Movement' will chronicle Mamie Till Mobley's journey to seek justice for her son's murder. JAY-Z and Will Smith produce.

ABC is telling Emmett Till's story. The network has ordered a six-episode limited series, Women of the Movement, that focuses on Mamie Till Mobley's lifelong search for justice following the murder of her 14-year-old son, Emmett.

Inspired by the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery S. Anderson, the series charts the aftermath of Emmett's death in the Jim Crow South in 1955. It is expected to premiere in 2021.

Marissa Jo Cerar (13 Reasons Why, Shots Fired) created the series and will also serve as showrunner. The first episode will be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard, Love & Basketball, Shots Fired).

JAY-Z and Will Smith are among the executive producers, alongside Cerar, Prince-Bythewood, Jay Brown, Tyran "Ty Ty" Smith, James Lassiter, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Michael Lohmann, Rosanna Grace, Alex Foster, John Powers Middleton and David Clark.

“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,” said Karey Burke, President of ABC Entertainment, in a statement Friday. “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.”

“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,” Cerar said. “Telling Emmett and Mamie’s story is a responsibility I have not taken lightly since I began this journey last year, because this is more than a tragedy; it’s a story about a mother’s unwavering love of her son and her commitment to bettering the lives of all Black people. I can’t wait to start filming. With the brilliant Gina Prince-Bythewood as our director, we could not be in better hands.”

“The story of Emmett Till and Mamie Till is not one I want to tell. It is a story I need to tell,” Prince-Bythewood said. “I am grateful to be on this journey with incredible collaborators who are determined to honor this mother and son with truth, authenticity and humanity."

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