Martha Bergmark: Remembering Medgar Everstags: civil rights, Guardian (UK), Mississippi, Medgar Evers, Martha Bergmark
Martha Bergmark is founding president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice, a nonprofit public interest law firm committed to advancing racial and economic justice.
On this day, 50 years ago, I was a white teenager in Jackson, Mississippi, absorbed most of the time with the typical concerns of childhood. But I vividly remember 12 June 1963, because that night my family and I heard the news that Medgar Evers, a well-known civil rights leader in our state, had been shot and killed in the driveway of his home, just a few miles from where we lived.
Evers fought in the US army in Europe during the second world war, only to return home to a state where slavery had been replaced by Jim Crow laws that institutionalized discrimination in every aspect of life. Before long, he applied unsuccessfully to become the first African American to attend the law school at Ole Miss. There, he led sit-ins and boycotts of businesses that practiced segregation – even though he knew that challenging the white power structure could cost him his life.
For many of us, white as well as black, the assassination of Medgar Evers was a turning-point. We were forced to ask ourselves with regard to the growing civil rights movement, "Where do I stand, and what am I willing to risk?"...
comments powered by Disqus
- Shipwreck Found Under World Trade Center Traced Back To Colonial Era Philadelphia
- Bob Dallek in the NYT gives a rave review of John Dean's history of Watergate cover-up
- Ex-President George W. Bush Authors Book About His Father
- Tears, and Anger, as Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics
- Europe notes 100th anniversary of World War I
- Rick Perlstein: “Ronald Reagan absolved America almost in a priestly role not to have to contend with sin. The consequences are all around us today”
- History wars are raging in East Asia
- Round 2: It's Benny Morris vs. Martin Kramer ... Was there a massacre in 1948 in Lydda?
- World War I Anniversary: Five Historians, Two Questions
- While French historians take a common view of WW I, British and German don't