BHM Spotlight: Medgar Evers


Today’s Black History Month spotlight is on Medgar Evers.


Medgar Evers
  • Born on July 2, 1925, was a WW2 veteran who became very active in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in his home state of Mississippi.
  • Quitting his job as an insurance salesman after the 1954 Supreme Court decision for the case Brown v. Board that ended school segregation, Evers applied to and was rejected from the predominately white Mississippi School of Law, the state’s oldest public education institution.
  • Because of his attempt at integrating the law school, Evers garnered attention from the NAACP’s national office, and he eventually moved to Jackson, MS to become the state’s first field secretary for the organization.
  • In this position, Evers organized voter registration rallies for African Americans, protests, boycotts of white owned businesses that discriminated against African Americans, and investigated crimes against African Americans – most notably the murder of Emmett Till
  • By 1955, Evers became the most visible civil rights activist in Mississippi, which put his family and his life in danger. He received numerous death threats, and even had his house firebombed.
  • In June of 1963, Evers was fatally shot in the back at his home by a Byron de La Beckwith, a white segregationist.
  • However, after 2 deadlocked juries at the murder trial, Beckwith was set free in 1964.
  • In 1989, Beckwith’s guilt came into question and an investigation was held, revealing that Beckwith’s lawyers had conspired to pre-screen the 2 juries in the original trial.
  • 31 years after Evers’ death, Beckwith was convicted of Evers’ murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1994.

“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea” ~Medgar Evers


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