A new limited TV series seeks to uplift the women whose relentless bravery was central to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s.
ABC's Women of the Movement is scheduled to premiere Thursday (January 6) and will first examine the life and activism of Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of Emmett Till who was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955. His tragic death, and the steps she took after are credited as turning points in the fight for civil rights in America.
"These stories keep happening," series creator and executive producer Marissa Jo Cerar told The Los Angeles Times. "Our people keep getting murdered ... It's devastating. They just see a dead body. They don't see the light that was extinguished. I want people to see Emmett before he was a victim or martyr, just as I hope they could see Trayvon [Martin] or George Floyd or –– there's too many names to list."
Due to the heavy subject matter, the series is getting backing from the network to air the material with intention. The series includes six episodes to air on a weekly basis, with the premiere to air with limited commercial breaks.
Each week's episode will be followed by an hourlong episode of the ABC News docuseries "Let the World See" which examines Mamie Till-Mobley's life and activism following her son's murder.
"The only way I would consider it was coming from the mother's point of view, and approaching it as a family drama based on a true crime. We get to know the people before the tragedy so we can relate to them more," Cerar told The LA Times. "It's a boy coming of age. It's a woman's coming of age."
The timing of the series comes following the US Department of Justice's announcement that the investigation into Emmett Till's murder would be closed for a second time.
"I'm not surprised the way it came out," Emmett Till's cousin, Rev. Wheeler Parker told The Times, "but we've been doing what we're supposed to do, going forward with our purpose and goal in life. There is nothing to stop us from doing that."
Parker said that the series helps fulfill Mamie's prophesy "that Emmett didn't die in vain."
"This show is a step in that direction. He is still speaking to us from the grave."
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