Shonda Rhimes to honor Emmett Till’s story with new passion project

Television producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes is taking on a new passion project.

The TV titan, known for hit shows like Bridgerton and Scandal, is teaming up with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center to preserve the history of Till, a 14-year-old Black boy who was kidnapped, beaten and lynched in Mississippi in August 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman.

“My hope is that this story never gets lost,” Rhimes told Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.

Rhimes’ new project is all about memorializing sites that are significant to Till’s murder, including the Mississippi Delta barn where Till was killed.

Rhimes’ said a 2021 article in The Atlantic, “The Barn” by Wright Thompson, inspired her to get involved.

“I don’t think I had ever known where it happened, where a child had been tortured and killed,” Rhimes said. “I couldn’t let it go. I kept thinking about it for weeks afterwards.”

In an effort to ensure Till’s story continues to be told, Rhimes bought the barn so that the Till family and their foundation can continue to honor his legacy. She’s partnering with the Mellon Foundation, which Rhimes says is “doing an amazing job with the preservation of the sites … and sort of bringing it all together.”

“History is always told by the victors. And I think that it’s important that the Till family is the victor in this story,” she said.

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