Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers

 

  • He was born on the 2nd of July 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi. He joined the army after he earned his high school diploma from a segregated school. He served the US army during world war II, he fought in the battle of Normandy (June 1944). He was discharged from the army as a Seargent after the war.
  • He got married on the 24th of December 1951 to Myrlie Beasley, together they had 3 children.
  • He graduated in 1952 with a BA from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (a historically black college). He majored in business administration and participated in extracurricular activities such as debating, sports, choir and he was the junior class president.

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  •  He lived in Mound Bayou Mississippi with his family. Mound Bayou was developed and populated by African Americans. He began working with the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), he helped to organize the boycott of gas stations that did not allow blacks to use their restrooms. He participated in a NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) test that led to the US Supreme court ruling that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. In 1954, he became NAACP’s first field secretary for Mississippi.
  • He also helped set up new chapters for the NAACP. He was known as a civil rights leader, in an area with a heavy white supremacist and KKK population. He received constant death threats so he trained his family on how to react if there was an attack. He was usually escorted by the local police and FBI for his safety but a lot of the policemen at that time were clan members.
  • On the morning of June 12, 1963, Medgar was shot in the back in his driveway by Byron de la Beckwith (a KKK member). He was rushed to a local hospital and was initially rejected because of his race. When the hospital realized who he was, they began treating him but he died 50 minutes later.
  • Martin Luther King and Allen Johnson led a march of 5,000 people after the assassination. His killer lived freely for decades until he was finally convicted on the 5th of February 1994. Medgar’s wife did not stop fighting until justice was served.
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