|Plot Summary of Death of Innocence: The Story of The Hate Crime That Changed America|
|" When I was 14-years-old I read Juan Williams' "Eyes On the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1968," and learned of another 14 year-old from Chicago, Emmett Louis "Bo" Till who met a tragic fate in the summer of 1955. While visiting relatives in the small rural town of Money, Mississippi, young Emmett was kidnapped in the middle of the night, severely beaten and murdered. His body was found days later in the Tallahatchie River, weighted down by a gin fan. His mother, Mamie Till (Mobley), was so sickened by the crime itself, the sight of her son's mutilated body, and the state of Mississippi's blatant disregard for the life of children that she held an open casket funeral so "the world could see" what was done to her "Bo" and act accordingly to eradicate the cancerous racism pervading America's heartland.
A number of accounts of the actual events leading to the murder of Emmett Till have been written. It is generally known that Bo's killers were the husband and brother-in-law of a storekeeper from who he bought two-cents worth of bubble gum days before his kidnapping. These two men were acquitted of the crime further drawing interest and mass attention to the story and the struggle for civil rights in America. Although a great deal has been written on the social context of the Till murder, there has been little focus on Emmett Till's life before August 28, 1955 and what the incident meant to the people who loved him. I, myself, have often wondered about Emmett's mother over the 16 years I have studied this case and what she must have been feeling and thinking. I wondered if she was still angry and bitter and what she had been doing since 1955.
In Death of Innocence, Mamie Till-Mobley fondly recalls her time with Emmett. She writes with compassion and conviction. You cannot read this book without feeling the strength exuding from its pages. Those of you who remember this shameful period in America's history and those of you learning about this case for the first time will ultimately be moved."
Aisha Staggers, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Death of Innocence: The Story of The Hate Crime That Changed America|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Political/social rights fight
- minorities fighting for rights
Ethnic/Relig. of subject (inside)
- woman's story
Special relationship with
If this is a culture clash:
- minority culture living in majority area
ethnic of society (outside)
- American (south)
Period of greatest activity?
- small town
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Genius (really!)
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 8 ()
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Book makes you feel?
- a lot of flashback and forwards
- a lot of stream of consciousness
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very favorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
Is this a biography of several people?
- More 6-10 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 76%-100% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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