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

Mamie Till-Mobley, Christopher D Benson

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


"Mamie Carthan was an ordinary African-American woman growing up in 1930s Chicago, living under the strong steady influence of her mother's care. She fell in love with and married Louis Till, and while the marriage didn't last, they did have a beautiful baby boy, Emmett." "In August 1955, Emmett 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. His mother began a career of activism when she insisted on an open-casket viewing of her son's gruesomely disfigured body. More than a hundred thousand people attended the service. The trial of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, accused of kidnapping and murdering Emmett (the two were eventually acquitted of the crime), was considered the first full-scale media event of the civil rights movement." "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 - a woman who would pull herself back from the brink of suicide to become a teacher and inspire hundreds of black children throughout the country."--Jacket
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRandom House
Number of pages290
ISBN (Print)1400061172, 9781400061174, 9780812970470
StatePublished - 2003


  • Mississippi
  • Lynching
  • Hate crimes
  • Racism
  • African American youth
  • Till, Emmett, 1941-1955
  • Trials (Murder)


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