Tara P. Henson is bringing one of her passion projects to the silver screen. The Oscar-nominated actress recently revealed that she will star in and produce a forthcoming film on Emmett Till.
The Emmett Till story will be produced by Henson’s company, TPH Productions, and directed by John Singleton. Henson is set to portray Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley (pictured below) in the film.
“We don’t have a start date yet, but the deal has been done,” Henson explained , adding that the the project is one that she’s been “passionate about” since the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Like Martin, Till was just a teenager when he died. In 1955, Till, then only 14 years old, was brutally murdered by two white men for allegedly whistling at a white woman, while visiting family in rural Mississippi. Till, a native of Chicago, was kidnapped, and beaten to death by the men. His eye was gouged out, and he was shot in the head before being dumped into the Tallahatchie River.
Though his body was left brutalized to the point of no facial recognition, his mother, courageously decided on an open-casket funeral.
The teen’s killers, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milan, were acquitted by an all-white jury. The pair would later confess to the heinous slaying, but were protected from prosecution under the double jeopardy law. His accuser, Carolyn Bryant, would later admit to lying about Till making vocal advances at her.
After her son was murdered, Mobley-Till became a teacher and civil rights activist, and often traveled the country sharing his story. She died in 2003 at the age of 81.