Alcorn dedicates building to Evers

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2003

Myrlie Evers-Williams offered the right advice on Thursday, an occasion to honor her late first husband, civil rights activist Medgar Evers.

At a special ceremony, Alcorn State University &045; the alma mater of both Evers and Evers-Williams &045; named its library auditorium after the slain activist.

&uot;Take the essence of this man, and use it Š building it into your goals.&uot;

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That is certainly good advice for Alcorn State itself, particularly as the historically black school strives to expand and grow into the future.

But it is also good advice for all of us, as we struggle to learn from Mississippi’s troubled past and at the same time put its racial strife behind us.

Evers, who had worked with his wife to establish NAACP chapters throughout the Delta and in Jackson, was shot in the back in 1963 while standing in the driveway of his Jackson home.

This man, who was a World War II veteran and a 1952 graduate of Alcorn, had also

gained national attention for his activism in civil rights. He had often spoken out against violence.

Evers stood for a better way of life for all Americans. He was a young man with a young family and full of so much promise, but he worked hard at a cause he knew could put him in danger. He stood up for what he believed in and left an example for all of us.

As we struggle through a trying time in our community and in our nation, we need to remember the strength and the integrity of men like Medgar Evers.

The Alcorn dedication is a fitting tribute to a famous graduate and a favorite son who helped pave the way for so many others.