12.11.2017

Civil rights chronicler Simeon Booker dies at 99

Civil rights chronicler Simeon Booker dies at 99 (Photo: Ann Heisenfelt, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Journalist Simeon Booker, a longtime chronicler of the civil rights movement and the first full-time African-American reporter for The Washington Post, died Sunday, The Post reported. He was 99.

As a writer for Jet and Ebony magazines in 1955, Booker helped deliver the story of 14-year-old Emmett Till's murder to a national audience. Till was killed in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman, and Booker’s coverage of his death — as well as the acquittal of two white killers — helped galvanized the civil rights movement.

Images of Till’s mutilated, disfigured body, published in Jet and other African-American publications, helped make Till's murder “the first great media event of the civil rights movement,” historian David Halberstam later wrote.

Booker also covered the Montgomery bus boycott and, in 1965, the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

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