NPR: Fifty Years After Medgar Evers’ Killing, The Scars Remain


Source: Debbie Elliott / NPR /Audio via NPR 

For Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers, the memories of 1963 are still raw.

Her family lived in terror behind the locked doors of their Jackson, Miss., home — a modest, three-bedroom, ranch-style house in one of the first new subdivisions built for African-Americans in Mississippi’s segregated capital city. A back window in the tiny kitchen frames the backyard where Evers-Williams once grew rose bushes and a plum tree.

The family moved to Jackson when Evers accepted a job as the NAACP’s first field secretary in the South — a job that made him a target of the white supremacists who would stop at nothing to preserve Jim Crow.

“Medgar became No. 1 on the Mississippi ‘to kill’ list,” Evers-Williams says. “And we never knew from one day to the next what would happen. I lived in fear of losing him. He lived being constantly aware that he could be killed at any time.”

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