The story of an African American boy Emmet Till, 14, of Chicago, Illinois, who was brutally murdered in 1955 for whistling at a white woman, is heading to the big screen, according to Vibe.
Film producer Chaz Ebert – who is the wife of the late Robert Ebert – is currently working with Shatterglass Films to bring the story to the big screen.
“The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today, and Shatterglass Films are the people to tell it.”
In August of 1955, Emmett Till went to visit his family in Mississippi, where he and his cousins went inside of a grocery store called Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market, owned by Carolyn and Roy Bryant.
— VibeMagazine (@VibeMagazine) May 19, 2015
While in the store, Carolyn accused Emmett of grabbing her and putting his arm around her as he asked her to go out on a date with him. Emmett’s cousins have no knowledge of that taking place because they remained outside.
“We didn’t dare him to go to the store — the white folk said that,” Till’s cousin Simeon Wright stated. “They said that he had pictures of his white girlfriend. There were no pictures. They never talked to me. They never interviewed me.”
As the boys were leaving, Wright stated that Emmett turned around and saw Carolyn walking to her car and started whistling at her.
The boys quickly ran off after that.
A few days later, in the middle of the night, two white men, Roy Bryant and his half-brother John W. Milam, stormed into the home Emmett was staying at and kidnapped him at gunpoint. The men reassured the owners of the home that they were going to bring him back, but they never did.
“They drove away with Emmett,” Wright continued.
“I never saw him alive again. After they left, I was in shock. I laid there until the sun came up the next morning. I got up the next day and my whole world had changed.”
Three days later, Emmett’s naked body was found in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound cotton gin tied around his neck.
Emmett Till was badly beaten to the point where he was unrecognizable. It appeared that an axe was used to horizontally cut his head in half. His face was smashed in, and a single bullet hole was found on the side of his head.
Most of his body parts were mutilated.
Photo: superselected: (Mamie Till at the funeral of Emmett Till, 1955) Photography. ‘Through the African… http://t.co/6ZB151llCE
— SuperNova (@BlakAudacity) April 17, 2015
When his mother, Mamie Till, identified the body, she said that it didn’t look like her son, but knew it had to be him from the ring that he wore.
“That was a very traumatic experience for me,” recalls MacArthur Bickhem who attended Emmett’s funeral.
“His head was warped and he didn’t look human. That left an impact on me, and I didn’t know it impacted the world at the time, but it was the first time in Chicago that I came to know what being a young black person is and what effects it could have. I haven’t seen much change.”
Meet Enmit Till killed for whistling at White women in 1955, he was murdered by Roy Bryant & JM Milam both acquitted pic.twitter.com/4VSZZOvRdK
— The hOOd Report (@_ThehOOdRept_) May 14, 2015
The two men who kidnapped Emmett in the middle of the night were arrested for his murder, but were later exonerated. After the acquittal, the two men confessed to the murder during a magazine interview.
Emmet Till’s movie will be filmed in Illinois and Mississippi in the upcoming year.