Medgar Evers was a Mississippi-born African-American civil rights leader. He grew up in Mississippi, a state rife with bigotry. He had to attend a separate school for African-Americans and endured racial slurs from other white students. Even after serving in the army during WWII, Evers was not treated fairly. In college, he was ‘junior class president’. Evers joined the Regional Council of Negro Leadership after personally witnessing the horrific repercussions encountered by African-Americans in Mississippi, such as lynching (RCNL). He began organizing anti-racism protests. His denial of admittance to the University of Mississippi on racial grounds sparked a well known movement to remove segregation. His tireless anti-racism crusade made him enemies with violent white nationalists. In the midst of President Kennedy’s historic civil rights address, his life was brutally cut short. Evers is still revered as a leading advocate of the ‘Civil War Movement’.
Early Childhood of Medgar Evers
Medgar Evers was born in Decatur, Mississippi. His father ran a saw mill and a farm.
He went to a school for black kids and traveled 12 miles each way.
During WWII, he fought three years in the US Army, fighting in the ‘Battle of Normandy’ and the ‘European Theatre.’ He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant.
In 1948, he enrolled at a black college. He majored in business administration and participated in debate, football, track, and chorus. ‘Junior class president’.
A Career of Medgar Evers
Evers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1952 and moved to Mississippi to work for T. R. M. Howard’s ‘Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company’. In later years, Howard advised Evers on activism.
T.R.M. Howard was the president of the RCNL, a group that fought for civil rights. Evers joined the RCNL and organized a boycott of service stations that prohibited blacks from using the restrooms. He went to RCNL’s annual conferences.
His application to the ‘University of Mississippi’ was denied in 1954. The ‘National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’ (NAACP) launched a campaign to end university segregation. Evers joined the NAACP in Mississippi that same year.
As field secretary, Evers increased the NAACP’s membership and organized voter registration. He led anti-discriminatory protests against enterprises owned by whites.
He criticized the legal system for targeting African Americans. He sought a re-examination of Emmett Till’s death in Mississippi for flirting with a white woman.
In 1960, Evers protested the staged theft conviction of civil rights activist Clyde Kennard.
He helped James Meredith get into the ‘University of Mississippi’. Meredith became the University’s first African-American student in 1962. However, riots broke out on campus, killing two people. This fueled white racists’ rage against Evers.
He backed the Biloxi Wade-Ins, a series of rallies demanding that African-Americans be permitted on the beach in Biloxi.
Grandiose of Medgar Evers
He applied to the ‘University of Mississippi’ Law School in 1954. After his application was denied due to his color, the NAACP launched a campaign to end segregation at the University, focusing on Evers. The ‘Brown v. Board of Education’ ruling declared racial segregation illegal.
Honors & Awards
The NAACP gave him the Spingarn Medal in 1963.
Personal Legacy of Medgar Evers
He married his college classmate Myrlie Beasley in 1951. Darrell Kenyatta, Reena Denise, and James Van Dyke were their children. His wife was a campaigner.
White nationalists repeatedly threatened Evers and his family after they publicly opposed racism. In 1963, a ‘Molotov Cocktail’ was hurled into his house, but his family escaped unharmed. Later that year, a motorist tried to run Evers down.
Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council, murdered him.
‘For Us, the Living’ was co-authored by his wife Myrlie Evers and adapted into a film. The 1983 film was a tribute to Medgar Evers.
The city of Jackson, Mississippi’s capital, has a statue of Evers, a highway named after him, and an airport named after him.
Estimated Net Worth
Medgar Evers is one of the wealthiest and most well-known Civil Rights Leaders. Medgar Evers net worth is estimated at $1.5 million by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
A crowd of roughly 200 white men barred an African-American civil rights activist from voting in the municipal elections.