Emmett Till’s Family Releases A Statement About Jay Z & Will Smith Produced HBO Miniseries

News broke a few weeks ago that Jay Z and Will Smith are part of the production team to bring the life story of Emmett Till to HBO. The cable network plans to air a miniseries about the 14–year-old African American that was brutally murdered for whistling at a White woman in 1955.

(AllHipHop News)

The family of Till has now released a statement via Facebook about the project. According to the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, the descendants of the slain teenager are not involved in the HBO adaptation.

The statement reads:

Thank you for the wonderful notes of support and public comments since the announcement of another Emmett Till movie project. Many are asking whether the family is involved in the recently announced HBO Emmett Till miniseries to be executive produced by Jay Z and Will Smith, or if they have contacted the family.HBO once planned to produce the authorized Emmett Till story based on Mamie Till-Mobley’s book she worked on during the last six months of her life. It seems HBO now has decided to go a different route and move away from the book option and the story authorized by our family.The lynching of Emmett Till is attracting significant media attention these days. Our hope is that we all might walk away from the reverence of this moment with a deeper appreciation of the meaning and historical context of Emmett Till in American History; why Mamie Till Mobley wanted so very much for the world to understand the many sacrifices that were made so that we could enjoy the freedom and opportunities we do today.Mamie Till Mobley shared her son with the world with hopes that he would never be forgotten. She would be grateful that discussions of her son Emmett continue today in the context of present-day killings of unarmed young Black men. These issues are central to the commemorative events we plan surrounding the 60th Anniversary of Emmett’s lynching beginning August 28, 2015.While we have not heard from the producers of the HBO series on Emmett Till, we certainly hope that they, too, might join in these enlightening and inspiring events–events that will reveal the Emmett Till story as more than just a compelling narrative, but also as an essential part of our cultural awareness.Airickca Gordon-Taylor,
Executive Director, Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation
Till Family

The Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation is sponsoring the Emmett Till 60th Anniversary Commemoration Weekend. The 3-day event is being held August 28-30 in Chicago. For more information visit emmetttill60th.com.

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