Medgar Evers was a civil rights leader and activist who fought for the advancement of African Americans in the United States during the 1950s and 60s. He was an influential figure in the civil rights movement, working tirelessly to ensure that African Americans gained basic rights such as voting and equal access to education. In recognitions of Black History Month, here are six fascinating facts about Medgar Evers
1. He excelled despite segregation
As a child, Medgar attended segregated schools in Mississippi until he graduated high school. Despite these obstacles, he still managed to excel academically and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University.
2. He was a WWII vet
After graduating from college, Medgar served proudly in World War II with distinction before returning home to Mississippi. During this time he became an active member of the NAACP and began organizing protests against segregation laws throughout the state.
3. Evers was an active civil right activist
In 1955, Medgar became involved in one of the most famous civil rights cases of all time when he took part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and other civil rights activists. This boycott lasted for over a year and was ultimately successful due to its massive public support.
4. He was assassinated by a white supremacist
In 1963, just days after President John F Kennedy gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington Monument, Medgar was assassinated outside his home by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith while attempting to desegregate his local university in Jackson, Mississippi.
5. His actions inspired legislative action
After his death, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race or color throughout the United States—a direct result of Medgar’s activism and dedication to equality for all people regardless of race or creed .
6. His murderer got his due
In 1994, almost 30 years after his death, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murdering Medgar Evers thanks to new evidence that had come out since his first trial which ended with no conviction due to jury deadlock. To this day De La Beckwith remains imprisoned for his crime .
Medgar Evers’ life is an inspiring story about courage and determination in pursuit of justice for all people regardless of their skin color or background. His legacy lives on through monuments, books, movies, memorials, scholarships, and more. His commitment to justice is something we can all learn from and aspire towards today. We owe it to him—and everyone else fighting for justice—to continue working towards greater equality today. Let’s make sure that we never forget what people like him have done so that we can strive towards true equity tomorrow!
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