Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Medgar Evers deserves a place alongside Malcolm X and Dr. King in our historical memory. Evers, with Myrlie as his partner in activism and in life, was doing civil rights work in the single most hostile and dangerous environment in America."--from Medgar and Myrlie

By MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid, a triumphant work of biography that repositions slain Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers at the heart of America's struggle for freedom, and celebrates Myrlie Evers's extraordinary activism after her husband's assassination in the driveway of their Mississippi home.

"I love this book. The empathic, brilliant, and wise Joy Reid has brought us the poignant, fascinating inside story of Medgar and Myrlie Evers, transformational leaders who confronted pure evil and risked their lives to ensure that all American children might grow up in a United States that was more just. As Reid shows us, that painful task is now more urgent than ever." -- Michael Beschloss

Myrlie Louise Beasley met Medgar Evers on her first day of college. They fell in love at first sight, married just one year later, and Myrlie left school to focus on their growing family.

Medgar became the field secretary for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP, charged with beating back the most intractable and violent resistance to black voting rights in the country. Myrlie served as Medgar's secretary and confidant, working hand in hand with him as they struggled against public accommodations and school segregation, lynching, violence, and sheer despair within their state's "black belt." They fought to desegregate the intractable University of Mississippi, organized picket lines and boycotts, despite repeated terroristic threats, including the 1962 firebombing of their home, where they lived with their three young children.

On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers became the highest profile victim of Klan-related assassination of a black civil rights leader at that time; gunned down in the couple's driveway in Jackson. In the wake of his tragic death, Myrlie carried on their civil rights legacy; writing a book about Medgar's fight, trying to win a congressional seat, and becoming a leader of the NAACP in her own right.

In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie's relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.