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On the evening of June 12, 1963 — the day President John F. Kennedy gave his most impassioned speech about the need for interracial tolerance “Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s first field secretary in Mississippi, was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet in his driveway. The still-smoking gun — bearing the fingerprints of Byron De La Beckwith, a staunch white supremacist — was recovered moments later in some nearby bushes. Still, Beckwith remained free for over thirty years, until Evers’s widow finally forced the Mississippi courts to bring him to justice. The Autobiography of Medgar Evers tells the full story of one the greatest leaders of the civil rights movement, bringing his achievement to life for a new generation. Although Evers’s memory has remained a force in the civil rights movement, the legal battles surrounding his death have too often overshadowed the example and inspiration of his life. Myrlie Evers-Williams and Manning Marable have assembled the previously untouched cache of Medgar’s personal documents, writings, and speeches. These remarkable pieces range from Medgar’s monthly reports to the NAACP to his correspondence with luminaries of the time such as Robert Carter, General Counsel for the NAACP in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Most important of all are the recollections of Myrlie Evers, combined with letters from her personal collection. These documents and memories form the backbone of The Autobiography of Medgar Evers a cohesive narrative detailing the rise and tragic death of a civil rights hero.
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