This Monday, the grandmother of an IVC alumni, Myrlie Evers, will become the first laywoman to give the invocation prayer at a Presidential inaugural. Evers, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and an activist and scholar in her own right, spoke to the Washington Post on this occasion.
Q: How do you feel about this occurring on the 50th anniversary of the murder of your husband, who was very active in civil rights work?
A: The focus has been on Dr. King and there certainly is nothing wrong with that at all. But I have always wanted to see Medgar be recognized for what he did. Medgar’s remains are in Arlington Cemetery, only about four to five miles away from the spot where the inauguration will take place. It’s kind of a miracle for me that all of this is happening at this particular time.
Q: What does it mean to you that President Obama is using King’s Bible to take the oath of office on Martin Luther King Day?
A: How can a country become more historical than that? I think it speaks so highly to America’s strength and willingness to change even though it has taken years to bring about efforts from the civil rights struggle into fruition and we are not yet there. But it sends a symbol not only to America, with all of those things combined, but to the world that America is strong, that America does believe in equality for all.To read the rest of the interview, click here.
Many of us, especially in the Humanities and Languages and Fine Arts, remember her grandson Keanan Kenyatta Evers, a distinguished student who went on to study at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. As Rebel Girl remembers it, he transferred in 2004.
Keanan is the son of Darrell Evers, the eldest son of Medgar and Mrylie Evers.
Medgar Evers, of course, was the Mississippi NAACP field secretary who was assassinated in the driveway of his home by Byron De La Beckwith on June 12, 1963. After two failed trails, Beckwith was convicted in 1994 and died in prison in 2001.
Rebel Girl will be remembering that "arc of the moral universe" this Monday, the one that Dr. King promised was "long" but bent "toward justice."
"Only a Pawn in Their Game" - Bob Dylan
Check out DtB's popular coverage of the 2009 inaugural:
⚂ Get Your Ball Gown On
⚂ How to Kill a Mockingbird