28 Days of Black History Month (February 20th, 2015)
Medgar Wiley Evers was born on July 2nd, 1925 in Decatur Mississippi. He was a U.S. Soldier who fought in World War II, but it’s probably known more for his civil rights activism. He was an active member for the NAACP. As a field secretary he would organize rallies, protests and and recruitment for new chapters of the NAACP. Medger Evers was a strong advocate for the desegregation of the south and equality everywhere. His name grew in popularity due to his activity with thorough investigations regarding racism and lynchings. After publicly denouncing the Emmett Till Murder, Medgar Evers became a target for white supremacist and the Ku Klux Klan.
In a span of 2 weeks in 1963 2 attempts was made on his life. First, on May 28th, 1963 His house was firebombed. Then on June 7th, 1963 he was almost hit by a car as he was leaving work. Tensions were extremely high in Jackson, Mississippi and Medger knew his life was in danger, Still he proceeded with his activism. On June 12th, 1963 as Medger was returning home, he pulled into his driveway. No sooner than he slammed his door shut on his car he was shot in the back. The bullet hit him in the heart. The gunman sped off, the ambulance was called as they arrived at the hospital the medical staff initially did not want to treat him. Based solely on his skin color and nothing else. Medger would eventually die and on that day he became a martyr.
His killer Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the ku Klux Klan and White Citizens Council was charged with the murder. However, after 2 hung juries he was eventually set free. He remained free until 1994 when new evidence was presented and Mr. Beckwith was sent to prison for what would be the rest of his life. He died in 2001, Medger was survived by his Wife Myrlie Beasley Evers and their 3 children.
He may not have had the Acclaim of Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X or Rosa Parks. But his contribution to the civil rights movement was nonetheless as important as the others. It is with great respect we say to Medger Evers #thankyou.