November 26, 1963, Freedom House Award Ceremony, New York, New York
Born on March 17, 1933, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Myrlie Beasley Evers was a civil rights activist like her husband, Medgar Evers. In 1954, the couple moved to the state capital of Jackson, where Medgar became the first state field secretary for the NAACP’s Mississippi chapter. When Medgar was assassinated by Byron de la Beckwith in 1963, Myrlie Evers and her three young children moved to Claremont, California, and married Walter Williams in 1975. In the 1990s she convinced Mississippi officials to reopen the case against de la Beckwith, was found guilty in a third trial in 1994. On November 26, 1963, Evers delivered an acceptance speech for the Freedom House Award on behalf of her late husband in New York City. This chapter reproduces Evers’s speech, in which she recounted her husband’s final moments before his assassination and lashed at the nameless masses who are guilty for his murder and that of President John F. Kennedy.
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