Obama calls Medgar Evers a ‘Warrior of justice’

June 6, 2013 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

Special to The Mississippi Link

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – On Tuesday, President Barack Obama visited with Myrlie Evers-Williams, a civil rights heroine and widow of Medgar Evers, and other members of the Evers family, to commemorate Medgar Evers’ life and contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.

Myrlie Evers-Williams and President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Tuesday. (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama said during the visit that Medgar Evers was a warrior for justice, and the tragedy of his death turned into a rallying cry for a movement.

Fifty years ago, on June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi.

After serving in World War II, Evers returned to Mississippi and dedicated his life to the pursuit of civil rights and equality in the South. He became the NAACP’s first Field Secretary for Mississippi, where he organized boycotts of businesses that denied basic services to African Americans, and he fought for school integration.

The murder of Medgar Evers, and resulting trial, inspired civil rights protests across the nation. Evers is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and, after more than 30 years, his killer was finally brought to justice in 1994.

Evers-Williams, her daughter, Reena Evers-Everette and other relatives visited the White House before a memorial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Wednesday.

Speakers at the event included former president Bill Clinton, United States Attorney General Eric Holder and NAACP CEO and President Ben Jealous.