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racism

Pop Culture

How Emmett Till's murder inspired Rod Serling to create the original 'Twilight Zone' series

Frustrated by censors, Serling went a different route, with great success.

Rod Serling found himself frustrated by censors when he tried to tackle racism.

The original "Twilight Zone" series was unlike anything anyone had ever seen on television. Airing from 1959 to 1964, the sci-fi/horror show frequently referenced in popular culture and cited as one of the best TV shows of all time was the brainchild of Rod Serling.

Serling's inspiration for the show wasn't rooted in science fiction or cinematic horror, but rather in the dark reality of American racism

In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago, was brutally murdered while visiting relatives in Mississippi. Till had been accused of flirting with a white woman in a store, and the woman's husband and his half-brother kidnapped, mutilated and lynched Till for his "crime." The two men were arrested and a trial was held, but the all-white, all-male jury acquitted the two men of all charges after less than an hour's deliberations.

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