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Christopher Benson

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Mr. Benson is an Associate Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Illinois. He co-authored with Mamie Till-Mobely her autobiographical account of the murder of her son, Emmett Till.



Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers

Christopher Benson on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Death of innocence :
ISBN: 0812970470 OCLC: 57361306

The 1955 murder of a black Chicago youth, visiting family in Mississippi (for allegedly whistling at a white woman) preceded the trial of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant--accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. The all-white, all-male jury hastily acquitted the two white defendants. This was considered the first full-scale media event to spur the civil rights movement. It also set in motion the will and determination of Mamie Till-Mobley, Emmett's mother--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.