Medgar Evers. True American Hero.

Medgar Evers. True American Hero.

A Brave Champion for Civil Rights

In the tapestry of American history, there are threads woven by remarkable individuals whose names may not always echo loudly, but whose impact resonates deeply. One such figure is Medgar Evers, a stalwart defender of civil rights whose story deserves to be celebrated and remembered as one of America's greatest unsung heroes.

Born on July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi, Medgar Evers grew up in the heart of the Jim Crow South, where segregation and discrimination cast long shadows over the promise of freedom and equality. Despite attending segregated schools, Evers excelled academically, a testament to his determination and intellect. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University, setting the stage for his future activism.

After graduating from college, Medgar served with distinction in World War II before returning home to Mississippi, where he became an active member of the NAACP. His experiences in the war only strengthened his resolve to fight for justice and equality at home.

In 1955, Evers became involved in one of the most famous civil rights cases of all time when he participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin and other activists. This boycott, which lasted for over a year, was a turning point in the fight against segregation and discrimination.

“As you can see, I do not plan to leave,” - Medgar Evers, Jackson, Mississippi 1956

Despite facing constant threats and intimidation, Evers remained steadfast in his commitment to desegregation and equal rights. In 1963, just days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Medgar Evers felt the weight of exhaustion after what seemed like a particularly disappointing and lengthy strategy meeting that evening. He finally arrived home around midnight to a waiting Myrlie and their children. Balancing a bundle of NAACP T-shirts, he stepped out of his car and closed the door behind him. Just then, in a heartbeat, the tranquility of the night was shattered by the unmistakable crack of gunfire. Myrlie recounted the chilling moment: “In that same instance, we heard the loud gunfire.” Medgar Evers had been struck in the back by a sniper concealed 150 feet away in a dense honeysuckle thicket. With a single shot fired, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith abandoned the rifle used and fled, like a coward, into the darkness. Evers staggered inside and fell to the ground. At only 38 years old, he lost his life on the way to the hospital, the victim of internal injuries and blood loss.


cops around the home of medgar evers the morning after his assassination


On June 16th, a crowd of 4000 gathered to pay their respects at Evers’s funeral held at the Masonic Temple, with an additional throng of 5,000 joining the solemn procession to Collins Funeral Home. Despite the mayor's directive against singing, the mourners couldn't contain their emotions. Their heartfelt melodies of sorrow and defiance filled the air, drowning out any attempt to suppress their voices by law enforcement. As tensions escalated, police attempted to disperse the crowd with force, but the marchers fought back, refusing to be intimidated.

But even in death, Medgar Evers' legacy endured. His actions inspired legislative action, leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race or color throughout the United States. It was a fitting tribute to his tireless activism and dedication to equality for all.

The evidence against Byron De La Beckwith was incontrovertible. His fingerprints matched those found on the discarded rifle near the crime scene, and his public statements vowing to "eliminate integrationists" left no doubt about his intentions. However, entrenched racial prejudices led to a shocking "not guilty" verdict by the all-white jury in February 1964, despite impassioned pleas from the district attorney for justice. Had De La Beckwith been convicted, he would have faced the unprecedented punishment of execution for the murder of a Black person. Despite two mistrials and a hung jury, the perpetrator served a mere 10 months in jail before being released on a $10,000 bail.

Nearly 30 years after his murder, justice was finally served when Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of Medgar Evers' assassination, thanks to new evidence that emerged since his first trial. Today, De La Beckwith remains imprisoned for his crime, a reminder that justice may be delayed but will not be denied.

As we reflect on the life and legacy of Medgar Evers, let us draw inspiration from his courage, his resilience, and his unwavering commitment to justice. At TheBlackest Co., we pay homage to Evers and the countless unsung heroes of the civil rights movement through our collection of Black history apparel. Each garment is a tribute to their strength and perseverance, a reminder that the struggle for justice is ongoing and that every voice matters.

Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Medgar Evers, a true champion for civil rights and an example of bravery for generations to come.

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