“His name is Emmett Till. I want people to know that he is a good boy,” says Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren as Mamie Till-Mobley in the first look at Women of the Movement. The ABC limited series is based on the real-life murder of Emmett Till and its effect on the Civil Rights Movement.
Dubbed the “Trayvon Martin of the 50s” by Glynn Turman in the teaser, the story follows 14-year-old African American Emmett (Cedric Joe) during a trip to visit relatives in the South. In a crime that shocked the nation, the teen was beaten to death after he was said to have whistled at a white woman in a grocery store.
“Sending your child from Chicago to Mississippi in 1955 Jim Crowe South is a big deal,” says Warren.
Following her son’s murder, Till-Mobley took it upon herself to use the event as a catalyst for change. “Mamie’s decision to let the world see the brutality that had visited upon her son was an incitement to the Civil Rights movement,” remarks Tonya Pinkins.
Creator, showrunner, and executive producer Marissa Jo Cerar calls the story one of “a mother who finds this unbelievable strength,” with Warren adding, “We are always talking about how strong women are, but we never talk about how we get our capes.”
The series also stars Ray Fisher, Chris Coy, Carter Jenkins, and Julia McDermott. Produced by Kapital Entertainment, Will Smith and Jay-Z serve as executive producers alongside Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor, Michael Lohman, Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, James Lassiter, Rosanna Grace, Alex Foster, John Powers, David Clark, and Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Despite her tremendous grief, Till-Mobley proved that the power of a woman could accomplish great things. “The death of my son has shown me that whatever happens to any of us had better be the business of all of us.”
Women of the Movement, Limited Series Premiere, Thursday, January 6, 8/9c, ABC