This Civil Rights Activist & WWII Veteran Got Justice Three Decades After His Murder

Remembering the remarkable life of Medgar Wiley Evers.

Sal
Momentum
Published in
7 min readJan 26, 2024

--

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The Civil Rights Movement in 20th-century America forever changed what it meant to be African-American in the US. The success of the movement, which lasted for over an arduous decade, cannot be attributed to a single person or organization. It was a coordinated effort between the African-American community and those sympathetic to their cause.

Looking back, we have many important historical figures to thank for their contribution to the fight against racial injustice. In a previous story, I covered the life of Bayard Rustin, the gay, black civil rights activist responsible for the March on Washington. Today, I will go over the life of Medgar Wiley Evers, the civil rights activist who fought in WWII.

He fought in the army for three years during WWII.

Medgar Wiley Evers was born to James and Jessie Evers on July 2nd, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi. During his childhood, Evers witnessed overt displays of racism against the black community on the daily. When he was twelve years old, one of his family friends was lynched, and the man’s bloody clothing was hung from a fence for over a year as an intimidation tactic. Regarding this incident, Evers said the following,

‘I remember the Saturday night a bunch of white men beat him to death at the Decatur fairgrounds because he sassed back a white woman. They just left him dead on the ground. Everyone in town knew it but never [said] a word in public. I went down and saw his bloody clothes. They left those clothes on a fence for about a year. Every Negro in town was supposed to get the message from those clothes and I can see those clothes now in my mind’s eye.’’

As a teenager, Evers would observe from afar as white supremacists patrolled the streets in search of black targets to beat up or run down with their cars.

”Evers while he was serving in the US Army” Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

After his sophomore year at high school, Evers dropped out at the age of 17 and followed…

--

--

Sal
Momentum

I am a History Educator and a Lifelong Learner with a Masters in Global History.