Talk show maven Oprah Winfrey describes Trayvon Martin as "the Emmett Till of our era," when talking about race and her role in the new movie "The Butler."
Martin's killing by community watch captain George Zimmerman last year sparked renewed debate about race in the United States. "The Butler" continues the debate through the eyes of a White House butler.
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Till was a 14-year-old boy who was slain in Mississippi in 1955 for flirting with a 21-year-old white woman.
Winfrey made the statement to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough during an interview Wednesday.
"This movie is really about two different ways to protest. The butler, in his own way, you know, hanging in there, maintaining the dignity, the hard work, the perseverance, that multitudes of African-American families have shown over the years — in spite of the face of racism and discrimination," Winfrey said.
"The Butler" is based on a true story of White House butler Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents over three decades, and the tumultuous civil rights battles he witnessed along the way. Winfrey plays Allen's wife.
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