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Emmett Till Movie Trailer Released, Black Twitter Responds

Source: to the movie/Youtube

So, the trailer for Emmett Till’s next movie is out, and– well – I just don’t think I’ll ever be ready to watch this movie.

The film Until actually focuses on the true story of Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, and her dedication to getting justice for her son. If nothing else, it lessens the chances that audiences will be meant to watch a graphic depiction of Emmett’s brutal lynching at the hands of white monsters. The truth is that I hesitate to see Until for the same reason that I never watched Ava DuVernay Central Park 5 docuseries: I just don’t like to see black boys suffer.

Before we go any further, it’s worth mentioning that, if Black Twitter is any indication, most black people are more than just anxious to see the movie.– they’d rather it just didn’t exist.

For the record, the film’s director, Nigerian filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu, said in a recent interview that she had no intention of dramatizing the horrors of Emmett’s death.

“I don’t want to traumatize the public or myself again,” Chukwu said at a press conference, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I knew the way I needed to tell this story was through Grandma’s emotional journey,” she continued. “We need to stay focused on Grandma and her relationship with Emmett. Once everyone was on board, I began a very intense research journey. She also said that the film “not only shows the inherent sadness and pain”, but also “the joy and love that is really at the root of the narrative”.

So that’s comforting I guess.

While I myself am apprehensive about seeing the film, I have to say that many of the negative reactions from Black Twitter seem a bit instinctive. I understand the feeling of black people being tired of stories of black trauma, but I also have to ask: how can our historical stories be told without the inclusion of white supremacy and white violence?

This is not to say that blackness is defined solely by the racism and white violence we have endured, but racism and white violence are not things that we can easily separate from our stories. Every step of black progress has seen white supremacy as an adversary. And yet, black history is American history, and even the most violent and gruesome aspects of American history are often portrayed in novels, television, and, of course, movies.

It’s not like when a white woman decided to write an Emmett Till Opera and tell Emmett’s story from the perspective of a fictional white woman character. No matter how many black contributors endorsed this project, it was just gentrified white nonsense that should never have happened. But it’s not that. Granny’s story is one that should rightly be amplified on the big screen.

With all that being said, here’s what I don’t want to see in this film:

We’re past the fact that black people don’t want to see a traumatic porn depiction of Emmett’s death, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. But what is equally important, in my opinion, is that all bad guys in this movie being portrayed as villains.

Not only is it important that Carolyn Bryant Donhamthe white woman whose racist allegations got Emmett lynched in the first place– not be portrayed as a sympathetic character, even remotely, but she should be actively portrayed as a villain if portrayed at all. I don’t want to see any portrayal of her character that legitimizes the wise victim she falsely claimed was in her newly unearthed memoirs.

I don’t want to hear about Donham’s claims that she never wanted Emmett lynched and that she tried to defend him against her husband and brother-in-law, Roy Bryant and JW Milam. I don’t want to see this humanized woman at all.

Ultimately, it’s not hard to see why black people feel the way many of us feel about this movie. The tragedy of Emmett Till is one of those things that we hold sacred. Even the narrative that Emmett’s open casket served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement is problematic because no one wants to see his story turn into an arc of redemption for white America.

Still, I don’t think it’s fair to put out scatters about a movie we haven’t seen a trailer yet just because we don’t like the idea of ​​a movie at all. Emmett Till.

In short: if you don’t want to see it, don’t see it. But not wanting to see it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist.


The new opera Emmett Till is written by a white woman and features a fictional white woman. What could go wrong?

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