Friday, February 26, 2010

Remembering Medgar Evers (1925-1963)

This year is the 80th anniversary of the birth of Medgar Evers, one of our country's most significant Civil Rights freedom fighters.

Recognition of Evers often gets lost between that given Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X, yet for 10 years, ending with his assassination in 1963, Medgar Evers was a prominent figure in the struggle for equal rights, serving as field secretary for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples) in Jackson, Mississippi.

Chronicled in this film clip, Medgar Evers' life and death was a watershed episode in the movement. The excerpt from the documentary 'Eyes on the Prize', gives the context of the movement - the institutionalization of the culture of injustice, the intimidation of those who sought to register to vote (briefly shown is an example of the 'literacy test' given to actually disqualify voters. The same type of test recommended by Tom Tancredo at the recent TEA Party Convention). It also shows how the legal system gave cover to those who committed such heinous crimes, such as the assassination of Evers.

His widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, devoted her life to keeping her late husband's memory alive and pursued justice for him, which ultimately resulted in his murderer Byron DeLa Beckwith being convicted of his killing in 1994.

She was elected the first woman president of the NAACP in 1995. She continues to be an elegant and eloquent spokeswoman for human rights.

1 comment:

Susan Klopfer said...

I have always been in awe of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers. Her book, "For Us The Living," was amazing; I could not put it down. When you read it, though, be prepared to cry. We certainly need to honor and remember Medgar this year. Let's all make a pledge to do so. I know that I am.