Jay Z, Will Smith to tackle Emmett Till’s racially motivated 1955 murder for HBO

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As race relations continue to be a hot topic of discussion in the United States, celebs Jay Z and Will Smith aim to educate the present by looking at the past.

The two are teaming with noted TV producer Aaron Kaplan to develop an HBO miniseries about Emmett Till, a black teenager who was brutally murdered in 1955 after he allegedly flirted with a white woman. The project reunites Smith and Jay Z after their successful collaboration on 2014’s big screen remake of Annie.

Till was visiting relatives in Money, Miss. when he is said to have spoken with Carolyn Bryant, the 21-year-old proprietor of a local grocery story. Days later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam took Till from his great-uncle’s home to a nearby barn, where they beat him and gouged out one of his eyes. They then shot the teen in the head and attempted to hide his body in the Tallahatchie River. Read more…

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Atlanta Hawks Co-owner to Sell Interest in Team After Racially Charged Email

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ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson said Sunday he is selling his controlling interest in the team, in part due to an inflammatory email he said he wrote in an attempt “to bridge Atlanta’s racial sports divide.”

Levenson said he regrets the email sent to the team’s co-owners and general manager Danny Ferry two years ago as “inappropriate and offensive.” In a statement released by the team, Levenson said he sent the email due to his concerns about low attendance and a need to attract suburban whites.

He said he later realized the email made it seem like white fans were more important. He voluntarily reported the email to the NBA. Read more…

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