Medgar Evers 50th Anniversary Commemoration

 

Myrlie Evers, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute, and daughter Reena Evers-Everette pulled together a series of events along with several committees commemorating the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer, Medgar Wiley Evers.

50 years ago on June 12,  Medgar Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson, MS home.  Myrlie’s screams and the cries of all three children rang throughout the city following a blast in the quiet night.  On several occasions neighbors spoke to reporters during the various events recalling that night and declaring that they will forever remember the sounds heard when Medgar was assassinated.

But why was he assassinated?  Why was he ripped from his love…torn from his family?  All Medgar wanted was justice, equality, and ultimately a fighting chance to live the American dream.  Medgar believed in Mississippi.  Since then Mississippi has changed.  Mississippi has grown, however there is still work to be done.

I will work tirelessly until Mississippi is what it can be. – Myrlie Evers-Williams

Today, Myrlie Evers-Williams continues to spread the legacy of Medgar by telling her story.  It’s like therapy in a sense, but the pain, even 50 years later still seems to seep into the depths of her and her children’s heart.

It’s a history that should be told. For me it’s been a dream that Medgar be remembered. – Myrlie Evers-Williams

 

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June 5 – Washington, D.C.

An eventful, yet humbling emotional experience in the nation’s capitol.  The Evers family including Mrylie’s grandchildren, Roland Martin and others gathered at Arlington National Cemetery for a private memorial at Medgar Evers’ gravesite.  As white roses were laid at the tombstone of the man who not only challenged Mississippi, but changed it. There were tears.  Tears of sorrow even 50 years later.  There is no cut as deep as the womb of losing a husband…losing a father.

Thank you to the world. He was Daddy. He is Daddy. – Reena Evers-Everette

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Following the private memorial was the public memorial with Roland Martin as the master of ceremonies.  Attendees included former President of the United States Bill Clinton, United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Mississippi Governor Phill Bryant, Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, the NAACP, and a host of other dignitaries.   The ceremony was complete with remarks from Myrlie Evers-Williams herself and a special flag dedication to the Evers family.

Today we commemorate the son of Mississippi. The son of justice.  – MS Congressman Bennie Thompson

Medgar fought for freedom around the world.  -MS Gov. Phill Bryant

 

The evening completed with a riveting discussion on ‘The Legacy of Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers’ at the Newseum with Myrlie Evers-Williams, Julian Bond, and Jerry Mitchell with Gwen Ifill as the moderator.

When he was taken away…it was an awful thing…he was one of us. -Julian Bond

I’m more than the widow of…[Medgar Evers] – Myrlie Evers-Williams

We’re best at shaming people into doing the right things… -Jerry Mitchell

 

June 6-11  – Jackson, MS

Receptions, community activities, freedom trail marker ceremonies, exhibits, and the rededication of Evers’ home filled the city of Jackson as the world chimed in to commemorate, teach and remember the life and legacy of Medgar Evers.

 

June 12 – Jackson, MS

50 years later, a Celebration on the Green takes place at the Mississippi Museum of Art.  The celebration hosted the all male choir from Alcorn State University, Jim Hill High School’s grand choir, music by violinist Josh Uzodimna, and soloists from around the city.  There were reflections on Medgar’s life followed by the ringing of the bells as a symbol of the world remembering Medgar Wiley Evers.

After all the activities.  After all the singing and bell ringing, there was more.

The Tribute Gala proved to be magnificent.  Red carpet lined the Jackson Convention Complex as special guests and dignitaries filled the venue eager to hear the Tamela Mann’s ‘Take Me To The Kind’ or the strings from B.B. Myrling’s guitar or maybe to see William Bell and Angela Christie.  There was much to be said about Medgar as the words of gratefulness poured from Vernon Jordan and Tavis Smiley.  It was magnificent indeed.  The NAACP honoring Medgar and Myrlie was a sight to see.  A true commemoration for a true soul.

 

Myrlie Evers-Williams Speaks at the 50th March Anniversary Celebration 

 


Myrlie Evers-Williams on The View 

 

 

MSNBC Interview with Myrlie Evers-Williams 

 

 

 

Myrlie Evers at the 2013 Essence Festival discussing voting rights with Al Sharpton. * Courtesy of MSNBC 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

 

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