Keith Beauchamp drops by Staples to talk about ‘Till’


Beauchamp engaged with the audience by talking about his history writing this movie. He also opened up the floor by inviting all members to ask questions about his process.

Keith Beauchamp, co-writer and producer of the movie “Till” (2022) visited Staples High School on Monday, Jan. 30 to talk about his experiences producing this film. All U.S. history honor students were invited to view it in the auditorium as it connects to their current unit: the American economy and the American dream. 

“The fact that we had the ability to talk with one of the makers of the movie I thought was really incredible,” Allison Cancro ’25 said.

“Till” is a movie about the life and death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy who was murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. The film portrays the racial injustice and inequality of the time, as well as the fight for civil rights that Till’s death inspired.

Beauchamp presented the movie, with a running time of two hours and 10 minutes, to students and answered questions afterwards. 

Beauchamp touched on his goal for the film which was to get Emmet’s case reopened and finally have some of the prosecutors receive consequence. This was achieved and on March 29, 2022  U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. This federal law made lynching a federal hate crime. In addition, in June, the Amsterdam News, a Black-owned newspaper based in New York City, reported that a team had found a never-executed arrest warrant for the white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, in the store who Emmet whistled at causing him to be murdered. 

As well as bringing justice to Emmet Till, Beauchamp really wanted his audience to fully grasp how important Emmet’s story is and how it connects to current day issues. 

“I want people to walk away and smile, but also understand that the ongoing fight that we see today is no different than what we saw back in 1955; they are one and the same,” Beauchamp said.

Both students and teacher said they were deeply impacted by the movie.

“I mean, it was just powerful. I think just to see it on film and to see just like the emotional part of it and you know, just a reporter’s take on it” U.S. history teacher Nell-Ayn Lynch said. 

One of Lynch’s students reflected on this unique experience and how valuable it was. 

Watching that movie puts into perspective how serious the oppression that African Americans faced was and it really touched my heart. Just seeing that visually was really hard but also meaningful.

— Cooper Brundige ’25

Beauchamp further expressed his gratitude towards Mamie Till Mobley [Emmett’s mother] for pushing him to make this film considering how much intensive work had to go into the process. 

“You know, I think that if I had known it would take 29 years to get here I’m not so sure that I would have stayed with it.” Beauchamp said, “But I had no choice. It was my obligation to tell a story. It was a promise that I gave to Mamie Till Mobley before she passed away, that I will do everything in my power, rather than get justice but also make sure her story is told on the big screen.”