For those that are unaware, the trailer for the new Civil Rights movie Till has been out for a bit and it's absolutely amazing. It stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till played by Jalyn Hall.
The story recounts the fateful time in 1955 Mississippi when Emmett Louis Till was lynched while visiting his cousins. The young boy was in a grocery store when he began to talk with a white woman named Carolyn Bryant. While talking with her, it was alleged that he whistled or flirted with her, offending her. She alerted her husband and his half-brother went to Till’s uncle’s house and abducted the boy. They tortured, beat, and shot him, throwing his body into the Tallahatchie River.
The two men that tortured and murdered Till were acquitted. This was one of the events that launched the Civil Rights movement and propelled it to the mainstream. Till was fourteen years old when he was killed.
It’s already a punch to the gut seeing something as horrific as this happen in reality. It’s another thing to revisit the traumatic event through the lens of filmmakers. Understanding the tragedies and lynchings that occurred during the Jim Crow South in the United States, one would come to the conclusion that such a powerful act that impacted the Civil Rights Movement would move not only the Academy but also the nation.
It makes for uncomfortable viewing but nothing was ever been solved by remaining in your own comfort zone. Till’s murder caused controversy as his mother had an open-casket funeral to show the people what those two callous and heinous white men did to him.
To flashforward to the present day, Till’s accuser, Carolyn Bryant, admitted to lying about any inappropriate behavior in the store and was not prosecuted any further as she is an elderly woman in hospice.
At the very least, for justice to ring true, this story needs to go beyond the Academy and bring justice to Till’s family. We, as a nation, must scrub away the Carolyn Bryants of the world and stave off any ill will in our communities. That’s the way to true progressivism.