‘Women of the Movement,’ a historical drama series by ABC, chronicles the events leading up to and after the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till, the 14-year-old son of Mamie Till-Mobley. In particular, the series emphasizes Mamie’s fight for racial justice, which ultimately sparked off the Civil Rights Movement, empowering and inspiring Black people across the country in the second half of the 20th Century.
When it comes to a historical series, particularly one that is wholly based on real-life events, it is necessary to maintain visual accuracy in terms of the settings, costumes, and props. Created by Marissa Jo Cerar and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the limited series beautifully transports us to Mamie’s world in mid-1950s America, which is rife with racial tensions. Naturally, many are curious about the backdrops seen in the show. So, let’s take a look at ‘Women of the Movement’ filming locations.
Women of the Movement Filming Locations
‘Women of the Movement’ is set in Chicago, Illinois, and Money, Mississippi, the two most important locations pertaining to the story of Mamie and Emmett. However, filming of the series takes place in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee. According to reports, filming commenced in January 2021 and wrapped up by April 2021. Strict COVID-19 protocols were followed to ensure the safety of both the cast and crew. Now, let’s go ahead and take a closer look at these filming sites bursting with history and culture.
‘Women of the Movement’ is filmed in and around Greenwood, Mississippi. In a bid to maintain historical accuracy, most of the production takes place in Greenwood since Money — where Emmett Till’s murder took place — is located on the outskirts of the city known as the Cotton Capital of the World. In fact, the cast and crew thoroughly explore the history of the region and even visit the house of Emmett’s great-uncle, Moses Wright.
The annals of history reveal that Mississippi was one of the most racially segregated states in the 20th Century. Close to the banks of the river Tallahatchie, on Money Road, are the ruins of Bryant’s Grocery, the store where Emmett first encountered a white woman named Carolyn Bryant. There, a massive signboard details Emmett’s tragic death — at the hands of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam — and the powerful racial violence that existed in the area. These historical locations are seen in the series, which is also filmed in the Belmont Plantation located in Greenville.
Bryant’s Grocery is also a part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail, which highlights places in the state that played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, Money Road is remembered for being the gravesite of the famous blues musician Robert Johnson. Well-known films like ‘The Help’ and ‘Mississippi Masala’ were also filmed in the Magnolia State.
‘Women of the Movement’ is filmed in Memphis, Tennessee as well. The Bluff City is made to look like Chicago in order to accurately represent the everyday life of Mamie and her son Emmett, who lived in the Windy City. In particular, filming takes place on South Main Street, located in downtown Memphis.
Movie magic in downtown Memphis for the filming of the ABC limited series ‘Women of the Movement.’ The historical drama focuses on Mamie Mobley, the mother of Emmitt Till It was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 at the age of 14 pic.twitter.com/ARICr5Ny8u
— melissa moon (@MMoon_WREG3) January 29, 2021
Scenes are also shot at the Arcade Restaurant, which is touted as Memphis’ oldest cafe, and in the historic neighborhood of Cooper-Young. Vintage cars are brought in and lined along the streets in order to successfully portray a mid-1950s setting. Filming for the limited series also takes place in Ripley, located almost an hour away from Memphis, and at the Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner.
Highly acclaimed films like ‘The Silence of the Lambs‘ and ‘Cast Away‘ were shot in Memphis as well. Thus, ‘Women of the Movement’ effectively represents the real-life harrowing and moving story of Mamie Till-Mobley and her son by ensuring authenticity when it comes to the locations, costumes, and props.