Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America

Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America


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Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America by Mamie Till-Mobley, Christopher Benson

The mother of Emmett Till recounts the story of her life, her son’s tragic death, and the dawn of the civil rights movement—with a foreword by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old African American, Emmett Till, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was kidnapped from his bed in the middle of the night by two white men and brutally murdered. His crime: allegedly whistling at a white woman in a convenience store. The killers were eventually acquitted.

What followed altered the course of this country’s history—and it was all set in motion by the sheer will, determination, and courage of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose actions galvanized the civil rights movement, leaving an indelible mark on our racial consciousness. Death of Innocence is an essential document in the annals of American civil rights history, and a painful yet beautiful account of a mother’s ability to transform tragedy into boundless courage and hope.

Praise for Death of Innocence

“A testament to the power of the indestructible human spirit [that] speaks as eloquently as the diary of Anne Frank.”The Washington Post Book World

“With this important book, [Mamie Till-Mobley] has helped ensure that the story of her son (and her own story) will not soon be forgotten. . . . A riveting account of a tragedy that upended her life and ultimately the Jim Crow system.”Chicago Tribune

“The book will . . . inform or remind people of what a courageous figure for justice [Mamie Till-Mobley] was and how important she and her son were to setting the stage for the modern-day civil rights movement.”The Detroit News

“Poignant . . . In his mother’s descriptions, Emmett becomes more than an icon; he becomes a living, breathing youngster—any mother’s child.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Powerful . . . [Mamie Till-Mobley’s] courage transformed her loss into a moral compass for a nation.”Black Issues Book Review

Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition • BlackBoard Nonfiction Book of the Year

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812970470
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 270,195
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Mamie Till-Mobley died on January 6, 2003, at the age of eighty-one. Following the death of her only child, Emmett Till, she entered Chicago Teachers College in 1956, graduating cum laude and fifth in her class three and a half years later. In 1973, she earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision at Loyola University. Till-Mobley was a frequent lecturer throughout the country, recalling the struggle for civil rights and urging her listeners to be the best they could be.
A Chicago-based writer and lawyer, Christopher Benson has served as features editor for Ebony and as Washington editor for Ebony and Jet. He also contributed to The Washington Post, The Crisis, Chicago, and Reader’s Digest. Benson is the author of the novel Special Interest.

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Death of Innocence : The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Death of innocence was a book I couldn't put down even though it made my heart ache for a mother's lost of her child in such a horrible way. I was born and raised in Mississippi, a few years younger than Emmett, but I saw the photo, and heard the stories of his death. Reading this book brought it all back, the hatred, the injustice, and just being afraid that someone in your family would be dragged from their home at night, and never saw alive again. That happened to one of my family members - Mack Charles Parker - the book recounting his death - Blood Justice, he was the last person 'officially' lynched in the United States (Mississippi -1959) - he was accused of rapping a white woman, but he was lynched by a mob that took him by force from his jail cell at night, and unspeakable horrible crimes commited against him. Our entire family was put on notice to keep our mouths shut, but we have several Mamie Tills in our family, and because of speaking out, folks had to leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs just to stay alive, and to keep their family safe. I always wondered about Mrs Till, not knowing that she went on to do great things, and reading her story made her Bobo's life more than that horrible photograph. May she rest in peace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a heart touching book, this book will make you fell all you emotions at one time. You can fell the love they had for each other. It also shows the strength she had to fight for justice for her son. How she wanted the men who killed her baby to pay for there crime.

How she was before her time, she went out telling ppl what happened she did not kept quite she spoke up and told the truth and said hate killed my child and this is what hate did to my child. It was an act or courage when she had the open casket and let the ppl see what happened. This was a sad story and my heart go out to the family for there lost but one thing I did learn for her is keeping fighting for what is right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Emmett Till has an impact on everyone, but his story written by his mother touches you deep in your soul. I found myself crying as his mother describes the arrival in Chicago of his body and the multilation of it. The story was very detailed, a long introduction to Emmett and his family.
Anonymous 29 days ago
10/10 would recommend
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
* a little better quality showerz with closed doors, fresh shamppo, nice soap."
Guest More than 1 year ago