Thursday, June 12, 2008

Medgar Evers speaks

Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated on June 12, 1963... shot in the back by a rifleman outside his Mississippi home.

A former Ku Klux Klansman was convicted of the crime... in 1994.

The murder of Medgar Evers shocked white America. Young balladeers wrote songs about it... most famously Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game.” Phil Ochs wrote “The Ballad of Medgar Evers,” and Dick Weissman wrote “Medgar Evers Lullaby.”

Black activist Matthew Jones, a leader of the SNCC Freedom Singers, also wrote a “Ballad of Medgar Evers.”

My earliest recollection of hearing the name Medgar Evers was an episode of “Good Times.” (Young Michael Evans, the “militant midget,” kickin’ the knowledge.)

I never heard Medgar Evers speak with his own voice until last year, when I found a minutelong track on the album “Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs.”

Click here to hear “Medgar Evers Speaking.” This recording was made shortly before his assassination.

1 comment:

Phelps said...

He was a good man who fought the good fight. We are all (black and white) indebted to him.