Sunday, June 02, 2013

Medgar Evers: Assassin's gun forever changed a family

Medgar Evers: Assassin's gun forever changed a family: No matter where Charles Evers tromped, Medgar Evers trailed behind.

The preteen brothers explored the woods of Newton County, Miss., stepping past endless pines and hurdling creeks where the water ran muddy red.

Charles taught his brother, 3 years younger, how to hunt and fish. Better yet, he taught him how to punch.

One day in 1934, the brothers crawled until they reached the front of the crowd at the courthouse in Decatur where the soon-to-be U.S. Sen. Theodore Bilbo was campaigning and spewing racial epithets.

"You see these two little n-----s down here?" he asked. "If y'all don't stop them, one day these n-----s will be trying to represent you in Washington."

Medgar turned and said, "Ain't a bad idea, Charlie."

During Depression days, a white mob dragged their father's friend, Willie Tingle, through the streets, hung him from a tree and shot him. His supposed crime? Insulting a white woman.

The brothers asked their father why his friend had been killed. "Because he's colored," their father replied.

"Those days were almost unbearable, but somehow we withstood it," Charles recalled. "There was so much racism, bigotry and ignorance."