Friday, May 4, 2018

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

19480905

Rating: 5 Stars

As I finished the book, I recalled Mother Mobley's remarks about a speech she had to give in one of her college courses when they were assigned to give a eulogy. Naturally she delivered a eulogy for her beloved son and when her speech was over another student asked what grade she would receive. The instructor, who she said was particularly hard on her, said to grade it would diminish it. I feel the same way about the book. To pick it apart and analyze it and all of that, this is not the book to do so.

It is a testament to a mother's love for her only baby, one who was so brutally tortured and murdered. This book should be required reading for everyone in high school. We are not as advanced as we believe we are as a society and I think the vitriol aimed at President Obama and his family is proof of that, as are the absolute disgusting displays of white guys marching with tiki torches. This book absolutely ripped my heart out and I cried so much. I can't ever fathom that kind of pain, to not only lose a child, but to lose one in such a horrific way. Especially because I truly got to know Emmett Till - who he was as a baby, a young boy, and then there on the verge of becoming a young man. I only knew the bare bones of this story prior to this book. Long before that awful Accessory-To-Murder finally spoke and said she made the whole story up, I think we all knew it was a giant lie. This is further confirmed by Mother Mobley's words. There is no way in hell, with her raising Emmett the way she did, that he would have for one moment said any of the things it was claimed he said - let alone even whistled at that woman. I can't even speak or write her name, she disgusts me just as much as those who physically carried out the lynching. In a way, I am kind of glad that Mother Mobley did not live long enough to hear about the retraction. She had suffered so much in her long life, and while I know she knew quite plainly that none of it had been true, to hear it confirmed might have been too much. To relive it all again, knowing that no matter what Emmett had said or done that day, nothing would ever even come a tiny smidge close to justifying his lynching, would be unbearable as a mother. It is hard enough to wrap my brain around, that there were people who lived with this kind of hate in their heart - and still live that way today.

This is an important book, and one that needs to be read widely. Highly recommended, a must-read. It is still currently on sale over at Amazon for $1.99. Possibly other sellers too, I found it via BookBub.

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