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The Autobiography of Medgar Evers: A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters, and Speeches Paperback – Aug 1 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Civitas Books (Aug. 29 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465021786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465021789
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 653 g
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In an era filled with charismatic leaders, Evers (1925–1963) came to national attention primarily as the victim of "the first political assassination of a major leader of the modern Black Freedom Movement." As NAACP field secretary in Mississippi, Evers recruited NAACP members, desegregated schools, registered voters and organized boycotts. The work was usually undramatic, but always perilous. Evers's widow and historian Marable seek to redress Evers's relative absence from the historical record. But more than half of these 89 documents (from the years 1954–1963) are mundane monthly reports to or business correspondence with the NAACP. Ten Evers speeches are included along with eight newspaper articles, four press releases, a telegram to Eisenhower and one to Kennedy, an NAACP newsletter, a "text fragment," a posthumous Life interview. There's no clue to the principle of selection. With the exception of two very brief notes to his family, there is no personal correspondence. This monument is a tomb ready for excavation by historians of the Civil Rights movement, but it's not for the ordinary reader looking for an autobiography of Medgar Evers. It reveals the quotidian work rather than the indomitable man. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Evers-Williams, widow of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi civil-rights activist and head of the state's NAACP (who was slain in 1963), draws on her husband's personal papers to present a portrait of a man who understood the sacrifices he might be required to make for the cause he believed in. Evers' memoranda, transcribed public speeches, and personal notes present the picture of a servant-leader, a man who worried about the welfare of families, participated in boycotts and protests, and strategized about the most effective means of securing voting rights. His monthly reports included a chronicle of the escalating violence in reaction to the NAACP's efforts to recruit members. In an Ebony magazine essay, Evers explained why he continued to live and struggle in the racial cauldron of Mississippi. The collection includes correspondence with luminaries such as Martin Luther King Jr and Roy Wilkins, but is most revealing of the man who is less celebrated yet helped to lay the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1b03f84) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1c39e70) out of 5 stars A Documentary History that is much more gripping to read that you might think Dec 19 2013
By Lee Wolfe - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a documentary history of Medger Evers because the book is a collection of letters, memos, speeches both to and from him with photos included. One might think that these letters about the mundane business of a local NAACP office from the 1950s to the early 1960s might be a bit dry, and in the beginning, maybe they are. But as you reach the end you feel his frustration, his courage in a very dangerous situation and the toll it took on his marriage and family up until the moment of his racist murder. I don't feel that Mr. Evers has truly received his due respect compared to other civil rights leaders, but perhaps this book will help.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a81b4c) out of 5 stars A valuable historical record made public. Let's make sure it gets into every single public and school library. July 10 2005
By Susan Koppelman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I watched Myrlie Evers-Williams talk about the book and so much more on C-SPAN II, Book TV. She was appearing at Karibu Bookstore in Hyattsville, Maryland on 6/17/05 and I was so moved by what she said that I bought and read the book. I wish the book were bundled with a copy of that talk because in her talk it is beautifully and forcefully made clear that although Medgar Evers was assassinated on June 12, 1963, his spirit and his work survive and continue to nudge, persuade, inspire, and demand of us that his vision is not nearly fulfilled and it is our job to join together to keep up the work. And dare I say, in the midst of such serious considerations, that the man had a wicked sense of the satiric? His letters to Eisenhower, to the admissions people at the white college that refused admission to him, and others are not only important historical documents about the civil rights struggle in the U.S., they are also really wonderful writing and make great reading-aloud material. I'd love to see one of those moving one-man theatrical productions staged based on this book, his writings, and his wife's continued growth, struggle, and determined leadership after his murder. What a story! What wonderful American lives!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1cca3fc) out of 5 stars Documents of an Underrated Hero July 3 2005
By Andre M. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not a bad text. I have heard a rare recording of the underrated hero Medgar Evers speaking once, and no he was not a "personality cult" leader who dazzled the masses with snappy slogans, but a sincere individual who appealed to people on the grounds of reason and integrity.

In texts such as the 1958 Ebony magazine article and the 1963 television show in Jackson, Miss (where he lived and died), he appeals to those unconvinced by his fight against segregation to put themselves in his place. His stands for human dignity as described in his NAACP reports in the book is heartwarming when you consider that he risked his life to make such statements.

The Life of Evers cries out for a DVD or an "American Experience" episode. Unfortuantely, the so-called "leaders" and their paper-tiger soundbyte "causes" of today are a far comedown from the true heroes of Evers' era (and Mrs. Myrlie Evers herself makes this point in far more polite terms in her intro). Sadly, most of the truly great ones like Evers are now dead. Hopefully, this will inspire a future generation to get it right and back on track.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1bdb63c) out of 5 stars Powerful Book June 26 2005
Format: Hardcover
Medger Evers was truly a Pioneer of Change. He died far too young at only age 37. this Book traces His speeches,writings&Letters at about bringing changes.He was One of the Most Important figures during the Civil Rights Movement.Much Respect to His Widow Myrlie Evers-Williams for sharing these Important Documents of History that speak of a Ugly chapter in America.this is a Must Read Book&Have Book.very Educational&a Book that reflects a time period that wasn't that long ago.
HASH(0xa425e258) out of 5 stars Medgar Evers - Revelations of the great sacrifice Aug. 5 2015
By Jesse E. Fields, Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am enjoying the book immensely. It documents Medgar Evers's total commitment and bravery in what was undoubtedly the toughest and most dangerous environment in the modern civil rights era movement.