Born in the small town of Decatur July 2, 1925, Evers was one of five children to his parents, James andJesse. The family lived on a small farm, while the Father worked in a nearby sawmill. Young Medgar would have to walk 12 miles to school each day, eventually earning his high school diploma. In 1943, Evers was drafted in to the U.S. Army and fought in World War II in the countries of France and Germany. Discharged honorably in 1946, after earning the rank of sergeant, Evers entered in to Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University) to study business administration.
Just a year before his graduation from the college in 1952, Evers married Myrlie Beasley (now Myrlie Evers-Williams), and the couple had three children. Evers groomed his leadership skills as a member of the school’s football, debate, and track teams. He also served as a junior class president.
Activism would become Evers’ calling, after working with notable civil rights leader and mentor T.R.M. Howard. Evers worked for Howard’s Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company as a salesman and also served as the president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL). The RCNL staged boycotts in the state against gas stations that denied Black patrons from using their restrooms.
|De La Beckwith was charged on June 21, 1963, facing all-male White juries that twice resulted in hung juries while trying to determine the outcome.|
With help from the NAACP and as part of a grander scheme, Evers applied for entry in to the segregatedUniversity of Mississippi Law School program in 1954 and his application was denied. This led to Evers landing a post as the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, and he was involved in several investigations regarding hate crimes and instances of racism against African Americans, making him a thorn in the side of the groups of White Supremacists threatened by Evers’ ability to dig up truths and stir action.
Critics of racial equality placed their bull’s eye firmly on Evers, and his family lived under constant death threats and other acts of intimidation.
Just a day prior to Evers’ tragic early morning death, President John F. Kennedy delivered an address focused squarely on the necessity of civil rights. Shortly after parking his car in the driveway of his family’s home, Evers was shot in the back of the head and died in an area hospital under an hour later.