Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers:
“In marking the fiftieth anniversary of the horrific murder of Medgar Evers, we recall the heroism of his fight against inequality and remember his important contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
“A World War II veteran, Mr. Evers had fought for the defense of democracy overseas in a segregated United States Army, and was determined to make sure our country lived up to its ideals at home. Only 37 years old when he was gunned down in the driveway of his home, Mr. Evers had already become a leading voice for equal rights and equal opportunity. As an activist, he helped raise awareness of segregation’s injustice through boycotts of businesses that refused to serve African Americans, led efforts to integrate the University of Mississippi, registered African Americans to vote, and led public investigations into the brutal murder of Emmett Till. As a leader in the NAACP, Mr. Evers endured threats to his life, but he nevertheless continued his work in the face of very real danger.
“In the half-century since Mr. Evers’s death, our country has ended legal segregation, dismantled Jim Crow, and opened doors of opportunity through which anyone – regardless of color or creed – can walk, in a large part due to his efforts. But we still have more work ahead to fulfill the dream of those who, like Mr. Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., taught us that a more perfect union is not only possible but must be the unfailing labor of our own willing hands. I commend his wife, Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams for her fight to keep Medgar’s light and legacy for justice alive. Let us continue his work – our work – together until we make the promise of America the practice of America.”