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

ISBN: 0812970470

ISBN13: 9780812970470

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

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Moving and Powerful!! The Remembrance of a Matyr

I am a 20 year old black college student that is from Clarksdale, MS. This is a little Delta town near where Emmet's murder was committed and also is mentioned in the book. The horrors described in this book are ones that every child from the Delta is aware of and is cautioned about. The men that murdered Emmett were brutal, merciless, tyrants that deserved the death penalty. This book moved me to tears simply because of the fact that Mrs. Till never hated or wanted revenge for these men. She just wanted them to show some remorse and hoped that their little boys didn't grow up with the same kind of hatred that killed her son. This book clarified a lot of the myths that I have heard over the years about his death and also showed how strong and determined his mother was. He was her only child, the only boy, and yet she pushed and kept on fighting for him. They brought him home in a box filled with lime so he could deteriorate faster, and she said he didn't even look human, but she fought and never lost in the war of racism. She opened that box that was sealed by the state of Mississippi, and said "let the world see what I've seen". I think that this book is an eye-opener for anyone not familiar with Mississippi and for people that are, it is a raw look at the ugly truth. Mrs. Till went on to become a teacher and influenced lots of more kids with the passion that she would have given Emmett, and I thank her for this look into a heart that was wounded beyond repair and thanks to God, she made it. We made it. Emmett will never be forgotten, his story lives on still.

We Must Never Forget

For everyone who has heard of Emmett Till and sworn "never again" and for those who don't believe the horrors of life for too many Blacks in the South, this book is essential. This is a mother's story of the brutal murder of her young son and the travesty of justice that followed in a rural Mississippi town in the mid-1950's. She refused to let her son's murder be hidden, and it became an early rallying point for the Civil Rights Movement. Mamie Till-Mobley moves the rock under which the roaches of racism hide and exposes them to the bright light of truth. Her words are both inspirational and disturbing. We don't want to believe that this happened fifty years ago here in the "Land of the Free", but it did. We can't even tell ourselves that it could never happen now, because she tells us of a recent and terrifyingly similar murder of a young Black male in the South. Not far from where I live, four young men have just been charged with burning a cross in the yard of a Black family who had moved into a white neighborhood. Mamie Till-Mobley had her son's casket kept open so the world could see what was done to her son. Now, her book opens the "casket" of the buried past to show us once more. Mamie Till-Mobley was a courageous woman whose story is very moving. She talks about her youth, her family, her relationship with Emmett, the lives of Blacks in the south and in Chicago. Her story would be an important one solely because she lost a child to violence. However, her story is much, much more. She stands with other Black women of the 20th century: Marian Anderson, Rosa Parks, Coreta Scott King, the mothers of the girls killed in the church bombings. I believe strongly that we must continue to bear witness to these events, just as we must bear witness to Hitler's atrocities, and the mass murders that continue to occur around the globe. Remembering cannot cure the ignorance and hatred that accompany prejudice, but it can help to prevent repeats of these horrific events. As I read this book, I was reminded of an editorial written over 30 years ago by Arthur M. Sackler. Speaking of the famine in Bangladesh and other mass deaths, he said, "Tears alone are not enough." I hope that everyone who reads the words of Emmett Till's mother will realize that tears are NOT enough - we must remain attentive and work diligently to wipe this kind of hatred from the face of the earth.

A Mother's Pain

Superbly written! The late Mrs. Till-Mobey had quite a voice for writing, at times I felt like I was reading fiction... but the story and the pain is quite real.Emmett... one of hundreds of thousands of Black Americans who became a victim of America's terrorism both in the streets and n the courtroom.I was livid as Mrs. Mobley recounted the events that surrounded her son's murder. It set my mind racing about the work America still has to do to mend the hearts and minds of many of it's native people.This is an important literary piece.. I wish that it had been released under more promotion... and I am glad I picked it up.I advise anyone who cares about this country and who isn't afraid to read about the TRUTH should purchase this one.

Death of Innocence

As a young girl, family members told me the story of the lynching of Emmett Louis Till. I was also told stories of the "ways" of the Old South and the deep-rooted hatred whites had toward Blacks. When I was young, I saw the gruesome photos of his maimed and distorted face in Jet magazine. I was horrified. Finally, I was able to read a story about Emmett's life, his brutal murder, the trial and the aftermath of it all from his mother. Mamie Till Mobley's account of her son and family is inspiring. I felt her pain. I also admired her courage and resolve. Emmett's death had a powerful impact on the world.

A mother?s tragedy

Forty-eight years after Emmett Louis Till was brutally tortured, murdered and dumped in the Tallahatchie River with a gin engine tied to his body by white men who wanted to teach all blacks a lesson, his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley tells his short life story. Emmett had allegedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi, a capitol offense in his attackers' eyes. Raised in Chicago, Emmett didn't really understand the horrors of black life in the Delta even though Mamie had given him lessons on proper black "etiquette" for survival in Mississippi. Also Emmett stuttered, the result of childhood illnesses and Mamie had taught him to stop and whistle when a word got in the way. Perhaps that was the "whistle" that Carolyn Bryant heard that prompted her husband and her brother-in-law to cold bloodedly murder a fourteen-year old child.Mamie takes the reader through the unbelievable trial in 1950s United States and its complete disregard for the life and welfare of its black citizens. She recounts the horrid jokes about a "nigger" who not only stole a gin engine but was dumb enough to try to walk across a river while carrying it. Bringing back the nightmare of Jim Crow America, she tells of the segregated courthouse with the Jim Crow table where even Congressman Charles Diggs had to sit and the court orders that black and white reporters not mix or exchange stories. She relates to the reader the fear and terror suffered by the black witnesses and the plans of all the blacks in the courtroom for a quick evacuation if it became necessary. Since there was only one door, they would have to jump from a window - women first and then every man for himself. It is unbelievable to all except those who lived during those disturbing times.Emmett Till's death was not in vain. In fact, it was the catalyst the spurred the Civil Rights movement. His death encouraged Rosa Parks to refuse to move from her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, giving birth to a new movement by black Americans to refuse to accept second-class treatment.DEATH OF INNOCENCE is a painful book about an even more painful time in America. It should be required reading for every American who can read and for those who can't, it should be read to them. It might stop the cries of "just get over it" when the issues of black inequality, slavery and Jim Crow are brought up. This didn't happen centuries ago. It happened recently enough for many Americans to remember the horrific events of this terrible tragedy. Reviewed by alice Holmanof the RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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