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Evers International Day of Remembrance Draws Hundreds

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 13 Jun 2013 07:28am | comments
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Hess/MPB News

A statue honoring the slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers will be unveiled at Alcorn State University this morning. The first ever International Day of Remembrance for Evers drew hundreds to Jackson.

 Bells sound yesterday around Jackson and the state of Mississippi in honor of the murdered of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

 A remembrance in Jackson Wednesday drew hundreds, including Evers' widow Myrlie Evers-Williams and activists who fought for equal rights along side Medgar Evers like Hollis Watkins.

 Watkins called on modern Mississippians to live up to Evers' example.

 "I say don't worry about standing in the shoes of Medgar. Just make sure you are standing correctly in the shoes you have on. And move out as a part of that process. When we say standing in the shoes of Medgar, that gives us an excuse to not do what needs to be done," Watkins said.

 Long time CBS reporter, and Mississippi native Randell Pinkston says he got his start in television as one of the first black television reporters in Mississippi in part because of Evers demand that African-Americans be allowed equal time on air.

 "What Medgar did was to say to the station 'you owe a duty. Because you are given the privilege and the opportunity to broadcast and sell commercials and you are supposed to serve everybody and you are not'. And eventually the station was sued and their license was challenged. And that is what opened the door for me but Medgar started it," Pinkston said.

 Evers appearance on the news played a role in stirring up animosity leading up to his death.

 Governor Phil Bryant addressed the crowd saying it is important to remember Evers but to also keep in mind how far the state has moved away from segregation and Jim Crow.

 "Let us remember the sacrifice of the loved and the lost. but also celebrate tjhe progress. The joy of thousands and thousands of Mississippians who have looked for opportunities now for freedom, for expression, and for success," Bryant said.

 A statue honoring Evers will be unveiled today at Alcorn University where Evers went to college

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Hess/MPB News


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