We are seeking African American Males and Females of all ages to work as mourners in 1955 Chicago for the funeral of Civil Rights Icon, EMMETT TILL.
**Please see below for the historical significance of this casting**
A wardrobe fitting will be required for this scene and all applicants must have period-correct hair and facial hair or be willing to receive a period accurate haircut/style. No weaves/wigs/braids, or colored nails.
WORK DATE: Tuesday, October 15
LOCATION: Atlanta Area
HOW TO SUBMIT:
To apply, please send name, age, height, weight, phone number & 3 photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
Very important information on an upcoming Civil Rights Scene we are shooting.
Please take time to read.
Casting notice to follow in a different post.
Help us recreate the 1955 funeral of Civil Rights Icon and hate crime victim Emmett Till
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Carolyn Bryant, grabbing her by the waist and speaking vulgar language. Till’s interaction with Bryant, perhaps unwittingly, violated the strictures of conduct for an African-American male interacting with a white woman in the Jim Crow-era South.
Several nights after the incident in the grocery store, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam were armed when they went to Till’s great-uncle’s house and abducted the boy. They took him away and beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till’s body was discovered and retrieved from the river.
Till’s body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket. The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett’s bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on U.S. racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy.
In September 1955, an all-white jury found Bryant and Milam not guilty of Till’s kidnapping and murder. Protected against double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview that they had killed Till. Till’s murder was seen as a catalyst for the next phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Decades later, in an interview in 2008, Carolyn Bryant disclosed that she had fabricated part of the testimony regarding her interaction with Till, specifically the portion where she accused Till of grabbing her waist and uttering obscenities, laying much doubt on it the two had even interacted at all.
Till’s funeral was attended by thousands of mourners and we want to pay tribute to this figurehead of the Civil Rights Movement in an accurate portrayal of his 1955 memorial service.