Medgar Evers’ 50th Commemoration Commences

Medgar Evers’ 50th Commemoration Commences 

As we absorb more and more of this new year, we grow closer to beginning observations commemorating a half century since one of the most pivotal and painful years in American history – 1963. It was the year Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and thrown in a Birmingham jail for protesting, in April. It was the year local Birmingham commissioner Bull Connor brutalized children marching for civil rights with fire hoses and vicious police dogs on national television for the world to see, in May. It was the year Myrlie Evers became a widow, witnessing her husband’s lifeblood exit his body and flow down the driveway of their home, in June.

Fifty years later, on the 2013 inauguration day for the second term of America’s first black President of the United States, Myrlie Evers prayed. The fact that President Barack Obama requested Ms. Evers to invoke the spirit of God at this tremendous global event is a high honor indeed. The Inauguration becomes a prelude to a full slate of recognitions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ tragic assassination.

On March 6-7, 2013, at Alcorn State University, Evers’ alma mater (class of ’52) where he was captain of the football and debate teams, yearbook editor, member of the choir and junior class president, the Medgar Evers’ Memorial will be unveiled. The celebration will span two days of events and a gala in both, Lorman and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Thousands of people are expected to attend. The eight-foot tall bronze statue, strikingly in Evers’ likeness, will stand on a pedestal making it over 13 ft. tall. It was designed and constructed by nationally acclaimed sculptor, Ed Dwight of Denver, Colorado. The statue will feature quotes and an account of Evers’ most notable achievements and contributions to civil rights.

Ms. Evers, who in 2012 was appointed a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Alcorn said, “I met Medgar my first day as a freshman right there on the Alcorn State campus. How ironic and fitting it is that current and future generations can meet him, if you will, and get to know about him at the same place that I did. I am touched and I am thrilled.”

Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II stated, “The University is proud to honor the courage and leadership of our esteemed alumnus, national hero and Mississippi native son. His legacy inspires the world and particularly students in their pursuit of knowledge and their passion to make the world a better place.”

The events culminate in June 2013 with activities marking the actual date of Medgar Evers’ death, hosted by the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute (MMEI) in Jackson, Mississippi.