MDAH Commemorates Life and Legacy of Medgar Evers With New Exhibition
May 19, 2023
In observance of the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Medgar Wiley Evers, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) will commemorate the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader during the month of June.
"This is Home: Medgar Evers, Mississippi, and the Movement" will be open June 1–30 at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson. This special exhibit examines the life, death, and legacy of Evers, who participated in every major civil rights action in the state as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP from 1954 to 1963.
“Medgar Evers’s work and message still resonate today,” said Pamela Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums. “In honor of his life and enduring legacy, the exhibit is open through the month of June to allow visitors to learn more about this American hero of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Additionally, the Eudora Welty House & Garden (EWHG) will open the new, permanent exhibit Out of Outrage: Processing the Murder of Medgar Evers on Thursday, June 1, in the Eudora Welty Education and Visitor Center at 1109 Pinehurst Street in Jackson. This free exhibit examines how the murder of Evers impelled Eudora Welty to write “Where is the Voice Coming From?”, published in The New Yorker after Evers was shot in the driveway of his home and died on June 12, 1963. The impact of Evers’s murder was immediate and widespread, influencing the work of writers, poets, musicians, and other artists.
“In Jackson, Mississippi, the legacy of Medgar Evers is felt strongly to this day,” said Eudora Welty House & Garden director Jessica Russell. “This exhibit shares his story with our visitors and illustrates how some of the most powerful tools we will ever have—whether for processing personal grief or fighting publicly for justice—are imagination, creativity, and the written word.”
On Wednesday, June 7, at noon, the Two Mississippi Museums will host History Is Lunch, presenting “The Evers Archive: Voices, Justice, Legacies” with guests Reena Evers-Everette and MDAH Evers fellows Bobby J. Smith II (2017), T. Dionne Bailey (2018), and Pamela Walker (2019) discussing the work and continuing legacy of the Evers family. The History Is Lunch series is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi.
MDAH also holds in its collections the Medgar Wiley and Myrlie Beasley Evers Papers, donated by Myrlie Evers-Williams. The collection is divided into four subgroups: papers of Evers as Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, the Medgar Evers and family papers, Myrlie Beasley Evers papers, and the records of the State of Mississippi v. Byron De La Beckwith trials of 1964 and 1994. Evers’s papers as field secretary illustrate how closely he worked with national, state, and local NAACP leaders to facilitate organizational goals in Mississippi during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement.
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