Magazine article The Crisis

The Nation Honors Medgar Evers

Magazine article The Crisis

The Nation Honors Medgar Evers

Article excerpt


Fifty years after his death, slain Mississippi civil rights activist is remembered.

On June 12, 1963, NAACP Mississippi Field Secretary Medgar Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home. He was only 37, a dedicated husband and father of three. As the nation honors the life of the civil rights legend during the 50th anniversary of his death, his wife Myrlie Evers-Williams still remembers that fatal night.

"The memories, the flashbacks, keep coming," Evers-Williams said. "Perhaps that's a good thing, because it serves as a very strong motivator to keep going."

In May, Evers-Williams was joined by NAACP National Board Chairman Roslyn Brock and NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Evers' family home, now a historical museum in Jackson, Miss.

"It's a little difficult not to become emotional when I set foot on this soil. I don't care how many times I do it," said Evers-Williams.

White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of Evers' murder in 1994. He was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2001 at the age of 80. NAACP Board members visited the Medgar Evers statue at Tougaloo College and an exhibit highlighting the civil rights leader's work at the Smith-Robertson Museum.

"Medgar Evers' achievements and legacy have served as an inspiration for all of us at the NAACP and for justice advocated across this land," said Brock.

In June, the Evers family met with President Barack Obama in the Oval office a day before Evers was honored at Arlington National Cemetery, where the World War II veteran is buried. …

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