ABC president Karey Burke announced today that the network is developing an anthology series with the working title Women of the Movement. The series is a chronology of the civil rights movement as told from a black woman’s point of view, with the first season centered on Mamie Till, who devoted her life to seeking justice in her son Emmett’s name following his brutal murder in the Jim Crow South.
The first season of the anthology is inspired by the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement (buy here) by Devery S. Anderson. The book is officially described as follows:
Emmett Till offers the first truly comprehensive account of the 1955 murder and its aftermath. It tells the story of Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old African American boy from Chicago brutally lynched for a harmless flirtation at a country store in the Mississippi Delta. His death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and spurred on the civil rights movement. Like no other event in modern history, the death of Emmett Till provoked people all over the United States to seek social change.
For six decades the Till story has continued to haunt the South as the lingering injustice of Till’s murder and the aftermath altered many lives. Fifty years after the murder, renewed interest in the case led the Justice Department to open an investigation into identifying and possibly prosecuting accomplices of the two men originally tried. Between 2004 and 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the first real probe into the killing and turned up important information that had been lost for decades.
This book will stand as the definitive work on Emmett Till for years to come. Incorporating much new information, the book demonstrates how the Emmett Till murder exemplifies the Jim Crow South at its nadir. The author accessed a wealth of new evidence. Anderson has made a dozen trips to Mississippi and Chicago to conduct research and interview witnesses and reporters who covered the trial. In Emmett Till Anderson corrects the historical record and presents this critical saga in its entirety.
Women of the Movement is being written by Marissa Jo Cerar (The Handmaid’s Tale, 13 Reasons Why, The Fosters) and executive produced by Jay-Z, Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith (Roc Nation); Will Smith and James Lassiter (Overbrook Entertainment); along with Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor from Kapital Entertainment; Rosanna Grace (Serendipity Film Group); Alex Foster and John Middleton (The Middleton Media Group); and David Clark (Aptitude Entertainment). The anthology series is produced by Kapital Entertainment.