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Ben Chester White

Ben Chester White

Birth date:

January 5, 1899

Death date:

June 10, 1966

Age at Death:



Ben Chester White was a caretaker to the Carter family farm in Natchez, Mississippi and deacon in the Baptist church. He had two children (Jesse and Louis) and though he had a limited ability to read, he would quote vast passages from the Bible. Though he was not actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement, he was feature in the Civil Rights Memorial in 1989.

Ben Chester White was murdered by three white males who were members of the KKK. The men bought Ben a soda and then brought him to Homochitto National Forest, under the guise of looking for a lost dog. The men shot Ben over 10 times, dumped him into a creek and then burned his car.

Was justice served?

One of the murderers soon confessed to the crime and was hung, one went without charge and one was acquitted. The man who was acquitted lost a civil suite to the family later on, but never paid the charge. He was later retired and imprisoned for seven years. In 1968, Ben's son Jesse sued the KKK for his father's death and was awarded $1 million from the court. This was the first time in history the organization was legally held liable for one of its members. The $1 million was never received by the family.

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