Evers, Medgar Wiley (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Shortly before his death, CIVIL RIGHTS activist Medgar Wiley Evers was described in the New York Times as the movement's "quiet integrationist." Although his contemporary MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. achieved greater fame for organizing nonviolent demonstrations and boycotts, Evers was an equally dedicated reformer, whose reports of civil rights abuses in Mississippi helped to force social and political changes in the Deep South.
From 1954 to 1963, Evers was state field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Courageous, methodical, and devoted to his work, Evers sought to dismantle a decades-old system of SEGREGATION. His approach was to create public outrage over the treatment of African Americans by documenting cases of brutality and injustice. Although Evers fought tirelessly against discriminatory laws and conduct, he rejected violence as a means of improving the plight of his people.
By antagonizing powerful white supremacists, Evers put himself in constant danger in his home state. When he was shot and killed by a sniper on June 12, 1963, many Mississippians were not surprised. Upon his death, Evers became an early martyr in the African American struggle for equal rights. More than thirty years later, when Byron de la Beckwith...
(The entire section is 1179 words.)
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