Monday, December 14, 2009

Tha Artivist Salutes Veterans From A Forgotten War: The Evers Family



Video: Murder In Mississippi – The Assassination Of Medgar Evers


“You can kill a man but you can’t kill an idea.”
~Medgar Evers


This past October I ‘crashed’ the annual Freedom Awards hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum @ the Cook Convention Center…This has been a tradition for two consecutive years now…Actually my mom got tickets through a connect at FedEx…Every year the event honors three exceptional individuals who have dedicated their lives to supporting and advocating for human rights as well as using their gifts and resources to serve humanity through humanitarian and philanthropic efforts …This year’s honorees were truly the crème of the crop in terms of both staying power and star power: The Honorable Dalai Lama, The Resilient Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams (the widow of Medgar Evers and a pioneering civil rights leader in her own right), and NBA Hall of Fame Great & Successful Business Entrepreneur Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving were the honorees…


Soul Sisters: Sis. Myrlie Evers-Williams & Soul Great Sis. Bettye LeVette


And the entertainment was truly exceptional in every way: the dynamic blues diva Bettye LaVette belted out a cathartic and soulful rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come” and the incomparable Eddie Levert, O’Jay For Life & Patriarch Of The Once Mighty Levert Singing Dynasty(unfortunately both heirs to his throne, Eddie & Sean, have left us too soon) represented the baby making music crooners fraternity well with his oldies but goodies and solid gold classics, causing the elders in attendance to come alive with youthful fervor…Thanksgiving indeed came a little bit early for yours truly…


Living Legends: Dr. J & Tha Artivist

Although the Dalai Lama was not at this year’s festivities because of scheduling conflicts (he actually came weeks earlier to Memphis to receive his award and recognition) the night was still dynamic and electrifying because it paid homage to the life work of one of my sheroes, no disrespect to the legendary Dr. J. who is an example of excellence no doubt both on and off court…


Thank You For Your Service: Sis. Myrlie Evers-Williams & R2C2H2 Tha Artivist Presenting Her With An Autographed Copy Of Tha Artivist's First Award Winning Book, "James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant"

When you are able to personally thank those who made it possible for you to truly and fully partake in this extraordinary gift known as life it can make your burdens that much lighter and your breathing that much easier…On the other hand, how can you properly thank those pioneers for such a wonderful gift which guarantees the ability to pursue happiness?

Well yours truly had a chance of a lifetime last October when I was able to meet and greet several proud members of the Evers clan…It was a truly warm and humbling experience...

After the awards ceremony Mrs. Evers was so patient and accessible to everyone…She said in her award acceptance that she considered us all family and she truly honored and welcomed that spirit in her interactions with her admirers…She had such a humility as well as an unmistakably air of confidence not arrogance and gratitude…

The sacrifices her family made 46 years ago on a tragic June night in Jackson,MS, in particular arguably led the way for our still racially and culturally polarized nation to elect a man of color as the 44th President of the United States…She talked about the time she met the future leader of the free world while he was campaigning during the historic 2008 Presidential campaign…He asked her to pray for him and his family or rather don’t forget to say a prayer for him and his family…Instinctively she “overstood” what he meant and she told us that he needs all the prayers that he can get…


2 Generations Of Evers: Bro. Daniel Evers-Everette, Sis. Myrlie Evers-Williams & R2C2H2 Tha Artivist

I was also able to meet her and Medgar’s daughter, Reena Denise Evers-Everette, who works for Tavis Smiley, as well as Reena’s son and the oldest grandchild, Daniel Evers-Everette…He’s 32 but look likes he is in his early twenties, built like an All American football athlete (Medgar played football at Alcorn State)…You can tell that he was proud of what his grandfather had done to advance humanity in general and Black folks in particular as well as of the work that his grandmother continues to do…


Built For Comfort & Justice: Civil Rights Icon Charles Evers & Bro. R2C2H2 Tha Artivist

I also got a chance to finally meet Charles Evers, the flamboyant and colorful personality who is a giant in the American Civil Rights Movement on his own terms…He is also the older brother of Medgar Evers…A registered Republican who proudly voted for Barack Obama, at the age of 87 he has the vigor, swagger and awareness of a person half his age…A giant of a man in terms of both stature and greatness I had a chance to embrace his person and shake his hand as well as say ‘thank you’ for his service...

Charles Evers has lived a very charmed life with many vocations and stations: proud World War 2 Veteran, Bootlegger/Numbers Runner/Escort Service Provider (euphemism for pimp), NAACP MS Field Secretary, Pioneering Politician (First elected Black Mayor in the Mississippi since Reconstruction) and Enterprising Businessman…From his father to the great Dr. T.R.M. Howard and even to his little brother the martyr known as Medgar, Bro. Charles was also surrounded, inspired and supported by Black men of exceptional strength in character, courage and purpose…




W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Bro. Charles for little over half an hour during the 20008 U.S. Presidential campaign to discuss the 45th Anniversary of the assassination of his brother, Pres. Obama’s historic campaign and thoughts on the state of Black America…Needless to say the man lived up to his reputation of being highly opinionated as well as insightful...

By the way he manages and owns one of the most popular radio stations in Jackson ,MS and does a weekly radio show that addresses important issues relevant to the community…You can listen to WMPR 90.1 online: http://www.wmpr901.com. Every year in June, Charles Evers, along with his very good friend Blues great B.B. King, sponsor the Medgar Evers Homecoming Festival, a three-day annual event held the first week of June in Mississippi. This popular event features parades, gospel festivities and a blues show to celebrate the life and work of the late civil rights activist, Medgar Evers.

“Blacks will become lackadaisical and that Blacks who’d had nothing to do with the Movement would profit more from it than those who had.”~Medgar Evers (Speaking to Myrlie the morning before he was murdered on what will happen after his death…)

“I went out and looked at all of those policemen and I wanted to go and get a gun and mow them down. I cursed them all out --- why hadn’t they been there. Also cursed some of the Blacks who were suddenly his best friends and had crossed the street so as not to walk on the same side with him.”~Myrlie Evers (After finding out that Medgar was killed.)

It took Myrlie a while to reconcile her bitter feelings towards some folks, Black and White, who she felt had directly or indirectly contributed to her husband’s physical demise…With the passage of time she was able to forgive those who may have trespassed but she never forgot the promise she made to Medgar before he was killed to seek justice for those responsible for his demise…It was a promise kept, but justice had to wait for 31 years to finally be served…She also made peace with the NAACP, an organization she felt left her husband out in the wilderness to fend for himself against the wolves lurking behind every tree…She actually saved the oldest civil organization from crisis and extinction when she took over as the temporary President or Chairman of the Board of Directors during the mid nineteen nineties when the organization was in dire financial straits…In the process she helped to rebrand the entity and gave it a much needed facelift for a new generation of young activists and leaders as well as the fiscal fortitude to balance its bloated budget and eliminate needless deficits if not totally eliminate its top heavy board of directors with super inflated ego in tow…

Among The Big Three In Terms Of Civil Rights Martyrs (Bro. Medgar, Bro. Malcolm & Bro.Martin) and their Widows (Sis. Myrlie, Sis. Betty, & Sis. Coretta), Myrlie seemed the most reluctant to support her man’s life work while he was alive yet proved to be the most inspired to follow in her husband’s footsteps by making the system incorporate the ideals and philosophy of her fallen freedom fighting husband through utilizing herself as the primary change agent…She went back to school and completed her degree as well as ran for public office twice (something she said that Medgar ultimately wanted to do in Mississippi)

“I don’t think that I had a normal day after I met Medgar…I simply went along as a very reluctant supporter of what he was doing” ~Myrlie Evers-Williams

Whereas Coretta was the one most responsible for influencing Martin into doing the work that he is now renowned for due to her upbringing in a very pro-active and progressive household, Medgar was actually the motivator and moral sounding board for his wife to later become proactive in fighting for civil rights and human dignity…

She was also the only one of the Big Three Widows to actually remarry…Her second husband was the late Walter Williams a committed and respected labor union organizer on the West Coast…Her life after Medgar was truly exceptional in terms of strength and development of her own unique persona and contributions… For Us The Living she embodies those old sayings that without “struggle there is no progress” and “no guts no glory”…

In conclusion, these are just some of my heroes and sheroes…These are just some of the veterans of the forgotten war that I admire…The struggle continues…

See Also...

Husband's Death Turns Evers-Williams Into Champion Of Social Justice.

Remembering Medgar...July 2, 1925-June 12, 1963...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/06/remembering-medgarjuly-2-1925-june-2.html

Contact An American Civil Rights Veteran Today:
http://www.crmvet.org/

More On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

45th Annual Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs
Memorial Service & Conference & March For Justice
*Pre-Event Show With Bro. John Gibson*
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/06/18/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio

Tha Artivist Reports: A Philadelphia Story Part One
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2009/07/tha-artivist-reports-philadelphia-story.html




W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special~Remembering The Black Maverick: Dr. T.R.M. Howard...
The Greatest Civil Rights Leader You Never Heard Of...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/10/01/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio

***

*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Exclusive*
I-Witness History: The Complete Interview With Dr. Hugh Stephen Whitaker
, Pioneering Emmett Till Murder Case Researcher

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/09/10/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio

***


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special~Susan Klopfer: Blogging For Justice & History For Emmett Till & The Mississippi Delta...Using 21st Century Technology To Get Justice & Archive History For 20th Century Atrocities In The Mississippi Delta...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/08/20/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio


***

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special~Meet Alvin Sykes: Civil Rights Cold Case Justice Crusader...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/04/02/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio

***

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Special: The Shame Of A Nation...The Emmett Till Legacy

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2009/03/12/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio

See More Emmett Till On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

The Ghosts Of Emmett Till...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2009/08/ghosts-of-emmett-till.html

WTF??? Burr Oak Cemetery: Black On Black Crime From Beyond The Grave...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2009/07/wtf-burr-oak-cemetery-black-on-black.html

FBI Report: Woman Emmett Till 'Whistled' @ Still Alive...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/09/fbi-report-woman-emmett-till-whistled.html

What I Will Teach My Black Son To Fear....
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2006/12/what-i-will-teach-my-black-son-to-fear.html

Park In Honor Of Emmett Till Opens Friday Sept. 19, 2008, in Mississippi...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/09/park-in-honor-of-emmett-till-opens.htmlmett-till-opens.html

Mississippi Comes Face To Face With Brutal Past In Emmett Till Exhibit...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/03/mississippi-comes-face-to-face-with.html

Tha Artivist Remembers Ernest Withers (1922-2007)...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2007/11/tha-artivist-remembers-ernest-withers.html

Mississippi Still Burning Like Southern California...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2007/10/mississippi-still-burning-like-southern.html

No Justice, Just Us For EMMETT...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2007/03/no-justice-just-us-for-emmett.html

More Dr. Gene Young On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News...

Barack Obama's Installation Is The End Of A Long Road To Washington For America's Civil Rights Campaigners...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2009/01/barack-obamas-installation-is-end-of.html

In Remembrance of Virgil Ware - Before the September 11 Attacks...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/09/in-remembrance-of-virgil-ware-before.html

Dr. Young Gives Food For Thought On What It's Like To Be A Civil Rights Pioneer...
http://weallbe.blogspot.com/2008/04/dr-young-gives-food-for-thought-on-what.html


Hear The Wisdom Of Dr. Young On These Following W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio
Specials...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Yes He Did...So Now What??? Defining The Obama Presidency...
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2008/11/16/Tha-Artivist-PresentsWE-ALL-BE-News-Radio


April 13, 2008~The State Of Black America Part One*

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: February 18, 2007~"We Shall Overcome"-The Henry Hampton Collection (Creator of the Award Winning Eyes On The Prize Documentary)
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/weallbe/2007/02/18/tha-artivist-presentsmaking-b

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