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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 B EVERS Adult NonFiction Book
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Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 BE935 Adult NonFiction Book
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Summary

Summary

Civil rights activist Medgar Wiley Evers was well aware of the dangers he would face when he challenged the status quo in Mississippi in the 1950s and '60s, a place and time known for the brutal murders of Emmett Till, Reverend George Lee, Lamar Smith, and others. Nonetheless, Evers consistently investigated the rapes, murders, beatings, and lynching's of black Mississippians and reported the horrid incidents to a national audience, all the while organizing economic boycotts, sit-ins, and street protests in Jackson as the NAACP's first full-time Mississippi field secretary. He organized and participated in voting drives and nonviolent direct-action protests, joined lawsuits to overturn state-supported school segregation, and devoted himself to a career that cost him his life. This biography of a lesser-known but seminal civil rights leader draws on personal interviews from Myrlie Evers-Williams (Evers's widow), his two remaining siblings, friends, grade-school-to-college schoolmates, and fellow activists to elucidate Evers as an individual, leader, husband, brother, and father. Extensive archival work in the Evers Papers, the NAACP Papers, oral history collections, FBI files, Citizen Council collections, and the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Papers, to list a few, provides a detailed account of Evers's NAACP work and a clearer understanding of the racist environment that ultimately led to his murder. Selfless dedication marked the life of Medgar Evers, and while this remains his story, it is also a testament to the important role that grassroots activism played in exacting social change during some of America's most turbulent and violent times.


Author Notes

Michael Vinson Williams is assistant professor of history and African American studies at Mississippi State University.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Goes heartbreakingly to the heart of the movement, commemorating the oppression-hedged life of Evers, Mississippi's first full-time field secretary for the NAACP, and the consequences of his 1963 murder. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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