Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr

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  • Additional Information
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    • Abstract:
      Civil rights activist Medgar Wiley Evers was well aware of the dangers he would face when he challenged the status quo in Mississippi in the 1950s and'60s, a place and time known for the brutal murders of Emmett Till, Reverend George Lee, Lamar Smith, and others. Nonetheless, Evers consistently investigated the rapes, murders, beatings, and lynchings of black Mississippians and reported the horrid incidents to a national audience, all the while organizing economic boycotts, sit-ins, and street protests in Jackson as the NAACP's first full-time Mississippi field secretary. He organized and participated in voting drives and nonviolent direct-action protests, joined lawsuits to overturn state-supported school segregation, and devoted himself to a career path that eventually cost him his life. This biography of an important civil rights leader draws on personal interviews from Myrlie Evers-Williams (Evers's widow), his two remaining siblings, friends, grade-school-to-college schoolmates, and fellow activists to elucidate Evers as an individual, leader, husband, brother, and father. Extensive archival work in the Evers Papers, the NAACP Papers, oral history collections, FBI files, Citizen Council collections, and the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission Papers, to list a few, provides a detailed account of Evers's NAACP work and a clearer understanding of the racist environment that ultimately led to his murder.
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    • Related ISBNs:
      9781557289735. 9781557286468. 9781610754873.
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      WILLIAMS, M. V. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011. ISBN 9781557289735. Disponível em: Acesso em: 21 fev. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Williams MV. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press; 2011. Accessed February 21, 2020.
    • APA:
      Williams, M. V. (2011). Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. University of Arkansas Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Williams, Michael Vinson. 2011. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.
    • Harvard:
      Williams, M. V. (2011) Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. Available at: (Accessed: 21 February 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Williams, MV 2011, Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, viewed 21 February 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Williams, Michael Vinson. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. University of Arkansas Press, 2011. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Williams, Michael Vinson. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Williams MV. Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr [Internet]. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press; 2011 [cited 2020 Feb 21]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2011 November #2

When Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963, he had been engaged for much of his life with resisting racial injustice in Mississippi, having grown up in a family of resisters. He preceded James Meredith in efforts to integrate Ole Miss when he applied to law school before settling into a career as the first full-time field secretary for the NAACP in his home state, strategizing on potential cases to challenge discrimination, leading voting-rights drives, and helping to investigate rapes, murders, and lynchings. As whites mounted violent resistance and more aggressive groups, including SCLC, moved into Mississippi, Evers chafed under the restrictions of the NAACP, at one point even considering leaving the group and forming his own organization. Reacting to the constant threats of violence, despite the NAACP policy of nonviolence, Evers armed in preparation for a race war if it came to that. Historian Williams draws on previously unavailable archival materials and interviews with Evers' widow, family, and colleagues to offer a detailed portrait of a complex man, determined to stay in Mississippi and fight racial injustice, whatever the personal cost. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2011 November #1

Medgar Evers (1925–63) served as the NAACP's first field secretary in Mississippi until an assassin shot him down in the driveway of his Jackson home, within view of his wife, Myrlie, and children. Williams (history & African American studies, Mississippi State Univ.) unfolds Evers's life as a tour—geographical, emotional, and psychological—of whites' violent oppression of blacks in the segregated South and of the committed black resistance. He views Evers's life from his Mississippi Delta childhood to his life in Jackson, the state capital, and, through Jim Crow's domestic killing fields, filling out our historical memory of the social environment and political action that produced the tragedies and triumphs of the post-World War II Civil Rights Movement. VERDICT Williams's work tops what have been too few head-on examinations of the substance and significance of this martyr's sacrifice, a man who demonstrated the truth he liked to repeat: "You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." General readers and scholars will benefit from reading this work alongside The Autobiography of Medgar Evers, edited by Myrlie Evers-Williams and Manning Marable.—Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe

[Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2011 September #4

Williams, a professor of history and African American Studies at Mississippi State University, offers a scrupulously researched biography of the civil rights pioneer Medgar Evers (1925–1963), who heroically reported on the lynchings, rapes, and murders of black Mississippians and organized civil disobedience in the streets of Jackson. His early life was marked by racial violence so severe, says Williams, that for Evers, "the question always remained, how far could you push before whites killed you?" and it is this that fueled his activism. From selling the Chicago Defender, the preeminent black newspaper of the prewar era, to his accession to Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, Evers never gave up the struggle to "form a new Mississippi that embraced all its citizens equally." The story of this admirable and principled man, whose nine years in a leadership post at the front lines of the civil rights struggle in "what could be historically termed the most racially oppressive state in America" ended at the age of 37 when he was shot dead by a white supremacist. Even if the book occasionally sacrifices smooth narrative for scholarly rigor and documentation, it's an important and readable study of this seminal leader and the history of the civil rights movement. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC