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Eyes on the Prize
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Medgar (1925-1963) and Myrlie (1933-) Evers

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Medgar Evers, 1963.

Myrlie Evers with her children at Medgar Evers' grave, Arlington National cemetery, 1964.

The NAACP's Mississippi field representative Medgar Evers led the search for black witnesses to testify in the Emmett Till murder trial. He later assisted James Meredith's efforts to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962. On June 12, 1963, shortly after President John Kennedy had delivered his first speech on civil rights, Evers was gunned down outside his home by white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith. Evers' widow Myrlie, who had served as his secretary, went on to become the first woman chair of the NAACP. She also urged Mississippi authorities to retry Beckwith, whose first two trials had ended in hung juries. Beckwith was finally convicted of murder in 1994 and died in prison.

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Eyes on the Prize Blackside American Experience