Chicago attorney to discuss new book

By Melissa Blake

The Center for Black Studies will host famed Chicago-based attorney and writer Christopher Benson with speeches at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today at the Center for Black Studies, Room 112. A book signing will follow at 7 p.m. at Borders Books, Music, Movies and Cafe, 2520 Sycamore Road.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us,” said Van Amos, program coordinator for the Center for Black Studies. “We were fascinated by his story and articulation.”

All of Benson’s résumé seemed fabulous, Amos said. Benson served as a press secretary, lawyer and an editor for Ebony magazine, Amos said.

Benson’s latest book, “Death of Innocence: The Hate Crime That Changed America,” is a collaboration with the late Mamie Till-Mobley. The book chronicles the life and death of Till-Mobley’s son and describes the love and faith that helped her survive. The book received the 2004 BlackBoard Nonfiction Book of the Year Award and a 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award honor.

“I met him on a couple of occasions and we invited him up,” Amos said.

Benson visited NIU a month ago and was very well-received.

“I’m honored to participate,” Benson said. “I’m looking forward to sharing [the book] with more students and faculty.”

Benson resides in Chicago and has written several books, including short stories and the suspense thriller “Special Interest.” He also worked on Patty Labelle’s memoir, he said.

Officials at Borders are also excited about the event.

“I read the book and it’s fascinating,” Borders General Manager Julie Morsch said.

For more information on the event, contact the Center for Black Studies at 753-1709.