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Jay-Z and Will Smith to Produce TV Series About Influential Black Women from the Civil Rights Movement

Jay-Z and Will Smith to Produce TV Series About Influential Black Women from the Civil Rights Movement

In an effort to shine light on the women of the civil rights movement, business and entertainment moguls Jay-Z and Will Smith are teaming up to produce a new ABC series called “Women of the Movement.”

According to CNN, the series will tell stories of the civil rights movement through the lens of the Black women who were behind it. The first season of the show will focus on Mamie Till-Mobley and her fight for justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till, who was killed more than 60 years ago after being falsely accused of flirting with a white woman. 

The season, which has yet to be given a release date, will pull inspiration from Devery S. Anderson’s book “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement.”

“For African Americans, the murder of Till was evidence of the decades-old codes of violence enacted upon Black men and women for breaking the rules of white supremacy in the Deep South,” the National Museum of African American History and Culture says.

In addition to Jay-Z and Will Smith working on the project, other executive producers on the show include Roc Nation’s Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, Overbook Entertainment’s James Lassiter and individuals from Kapital Entertainment, The Middleton Media Group, Serendipity Film Group and Mazo Partners. 

The series will come off the heels of Jay-Z producing several other documentaries that delve into the multi-faceted experiences of Black people in America. These include “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” a miniseries about Trayvon Martin and most recently the “Free Meek” docuseries, which examines Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s journey through the unjust criminal justice system. 

A biopic on Emmet Till’s story was also reportedly in the works with John Singleton serving as director and Taraji P. Henson in talks of playing Till-Mobley. But, according to Billboard, that project has since been halted due to Singleton’s death in April.