PLEDGE NOW
Medgar Evers, 50 Years Later

The story and legacy of slain civil rights hero Medgar Evers, 50 years after his assassination in Mississippi.

Medgar Evers, state secretary for the NAACP is seen, Aug. 9, 1955 in Jackson, Mississippi. (AP)

Medgar Evers, state secretary for the NAACP is seen, Aug. 9, 1955 in Jackson, Mississippi. (AP)

Medgar Evers is not a man to be forgotten. A civil rights movement hero of incredible courage who stood up to report and resist sharp racist oppression in Jim Crow Mississippi. A father of three 37 years old when he was gunned down 50 years ago this week in the driveway of his Mississippi home.

Medgar Evers pulled back the Cotton Curtain that hid the scale and depth of racial abuse from the world. And he was killed for it. Shot in the back in the middle of the night.

This hour On Point: the story and legacy of Medgar Evers – American hero.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Vinson Williams, author of “Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr.” Professor of History and African American Studies at Mississippi State University.

Bernard Lafayette Jr., longtime civil rights activist and organizer. Co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, and directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962.

Haley Barbour, 62nd Governor of Mississippi, served from 2004 to 2012. (@haleybarbour)

From Tom’s Reading List

ABC News: Medgar Evers’ Widow Myrlie ‘Can’t Let Dream Die’ 50 Years Later — “It has been 50 years since civil rights leader Medgar Evers was gunned down in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Miss., and his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, says she still feels him speaking to her. At a memorial honoring him in Washington Wednesday, Evers-Williams remembered her husband’s saying, ‘I love my wife and I love my children. And I will give my life and give it gladly so that they can have a better life in this country of mine.'”

The Times Picayune: Remembering Medgar Evers’ assassination and writer Eudora Welty’s angry response — “Byron De La Beckwith had yet to be identified, arrested or tried as the man who on June 11, 1963, killed Medgar Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP. And yet, Eudora Welty, one of the state’s most gifted writers, knew who he was. No, Welty didn’t know De La Beckwith’s name or what he looked like. But Welty was from Mississippi and of Mississippi, and she knew Mississippi. So even if she didn’t know the name or look of the assassin, she was dead certain she knew how he’d sound.”

Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Medgar Evers: Assassin’s gun forever changed a family — “No matter where Charles Evers tromped, Medgar Evers trailed behind. The preteen brothers explored the woods of Newton County, Miss., stepping past endless pines and hurdling creeks where the water ran muddy red. Charles taught his brother, 3 years younger, how to hunt and fish. Better yet, he taught him how to punch.”

Playlist

“Too Many Martyrs” by Phil Ochs

“Only A Pawn In Their Game” by Bob Dylan

“Ballad Of Medgar Evans” by SNCC Freedom Singers, led by Matthew Jones

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 26, 2016
This Jan. 26, 2016 file photo shows a "For Sale" sign hanging in front of an existing home in Atlanta.  Short of savings and burdened by debt, America's millennials are struggling to afford their first homes in the face of sharply higher prices in many of the most desirable cities. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

No more ’empty nest’. A third of millennials now live at home with their parents. We’ll look at what’s still pushing that trend.

May 26, 2016
This March 16, 2015 photo shows portraits of now-retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Marshall Powell, right, and his wife, Arasi, at their home in Crescent, Okla. Powell suffers from a psychological wound called "moral injury" after serving as an Army nurse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arasi, also a soldier who served in Iraq, had received treatment for PTSD. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In advance of Memorial Day, we’ll talk with Sebastian Junger about vets coming home and missing their “Tribe.” Plus, a WWII veteran remembers life on and off and the battlefield.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 25, 2016
Police gather in a cordoned off area where a possible murder suspect fired shots at officers surrounding a South Side home where he is barricaded Thursday, May 12, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Predictive policing. With violence on the rise, Chicago has turned to big data to predict gun and gang violence.

 
May 25, 2016
This April 29, 2014, file photo, shows an Exxon sign at a Exxon gas station in Carnegie, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

How will the oil giants do business in the climate change future? Shareholders at Exxon, Chevron and more want to hear their plans. So do we.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment
 
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment
 
Caller: Trump is a ‘Yankee moron,’ but I support him
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“I’m a working man. I’ve worked 13, 14 hours every day. I got two jobs. I got three kids. I got a wife. You know, I’m not a misogynist.”

More »
Comment