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Library Journal Review
June 2005 marks the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of Evers, the civil rights leader and first Mississippi field secretary of the NAACP. His autobiography has been put together for the first time by his widow, Evers-Williams, and Marable (history, Columbia Univ.; W.E.B. DuBois: Black Radical Democrat) from Evers's unpublished papers and personal collections as well as Evers-Williams's recollections. The resulting text resurrects the life, intellectual output, and creative legacy of the slain civil rights hero. Evers became a marked man throughout Mississippi as a result of his tireless civil rights efforts, which included making it possible for blacks to vote, having the first black, James Meredith, admitted to the University of Mississippi, and bringing national attention to the lynchings of Emmett Till and Mack Charles Parker. In the early 1960s "inside the Evers home, furniture was piled in front of all the windows, and the barricaded nature was not uncommon for a civil rights person in Mississippi." On June 12, 1963, at age 37, Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his home in Jackson. His was the first political assassination of a prominent leader of the modern Black Freedom Movement. This autobiography is deftly organized into eight chapters, the final two being "I Speak as a Native Mississippian" and "After Medgar, No More Fear." These chapters enunciate his greatest achievements: his relentless struggle and determination to stay in Jackson against all odds and his bequest to fear no more. An excellent resource on the Civil Rights Movement for both academic and public libraries.-Edward McCormack, Cox Lib. Media Ctr. & Curriculum Lab, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Long Beach (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Strictly speaking, this is not an autobiography, but it is autobiographical. This is evident in the speeches and other documents in the book, which give readers a strong sense of the man who did so much for freedom in Mississippi. Some documents are reports to the national office of the NAACP, in which Evers reflects the policies of the organization, but other papers reveal his frustrations with its legalistic approach. His wife, Myrlie, contributes her strong feelings about her husband's beliefs. Especially noteworthy is her touching account of the couple's awareness that his death was always possible, and in June of 1963, very probable. Historian Marable (Columbia Univ.) contributes introductions to each chronological section of the book and provides historical facts and interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, the nation, and the world. Undoubtedly, other studies of Medgar Evers and the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi will follow that will add to our knowledge and understanding of him and his generation. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General and undergraduate collections. L. H. Grothaus emeritus, Concordia University
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Manning Marable was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 13, 1950. In 1968, he served as the local black newspaper's correspondent and marched along with thousands of others during the funeral procession for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He received a bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Indiana, a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. He wrote around 20 books during his lifetime including How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America, The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life, Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance and Radicalism, and Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. He was a professor of African American studies, history, political science and public affairs at Columbia University. He died from complications of pneumonia on April 1, 2011 at the age of 60. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)