A Shot that Ricocheted through History Essay

This essay has a total of 1873 words and 7 pages.

A Shot that Ricocheted through History

" A Shot That Ricocheted Through History"
Medgar Evers was a man who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in. He believed
that one-day blacks and whites would be able to associate with each other without racial
interference. He would later die for what he believed and leave an example for all who was
following in his path. The man believed to have shot him was tried three times and finally
convicted in the third trial nearly thirty years after his death. Evers was seen as a
martyr for all black to look up to.

As civil rights began to gain attention of the United States, blacks decided they needed
to change their approach from court cases to a more nonviolent approach. On August 28,
1963, the movement reached its strongest points. They made a march at Washington D. C.,
and wanted to federal civil rights legislation to give them equal rights. This is where
Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. King believed that most whites
were basically decent and when faced by love would allow injustice and brutality to
continue. (Jordan) The nonviolent approach would prove to be a better approach for them in
later times.

When blacks began charging their approach, they began preferring sit-ins. This all started
at a public lunch counter at F. W. Woolsworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina and began to
spread to all public land counties across the south. As sit-ins became more common, they
moved to other public places such as parks, movie theatres, swimming pools, libraries,
lobbies, and many other segregated facilities. After several months of sit-ins, they began
to become desegregated. Blacks also began a strong movement to get public schools
desegregated as well. They finally succeeded with Ole Miss, when they accepted James
Meredith into the school. President Kennedy also tried to help blacks by approaching the
problem with caution. He did this by encouraging company with government contracts to hire
black Americans.

On July 2, 1925 in Decatur, Ms, a black man by the name of Medgar Wiley Evers was born.
Until he joined the Army in 1943, he attended school in Decatur. He served Normandy and to
Alcorn to pursue his college education in which he majored in business administration.
While there, he participated in many school functions, and also met his future wife Myrtle
Beasley. They married the next year on December 24, 1951. After finishing college with a
BA he moved to Mound Bayou, and established the local chapter of the NAACP. He was an
insurance salesman until the Supreme Court case of Brown vs. the Board of Education said
that schools could no longer be segregated. When this decision did not stop him from
trying to integrate the school, when in 1962 they helped James Meredith get enrolled
there. Earlier in 1954, Evers was appointed to NAACP field secretary and moved to Jackson.
Evers, despite of danger of being the leader of the NAACP, pursued to civil rights
movement actively. Evers once said, "If I die, it will be in a good course. I've been
fighting for America just as much as soldiers in Vietnam. I'm determined that we will be
accepted human beings with dignity."

With being the leader of the NAACP, many white Americans did not like him, and when he
helped James Meredith get into Ole Miss, he sparked a fire that would not go away until
June 12, 1963, when he was murdered outside his home, and the murderer would not see
justice until 1994, over thirty years after his death.

Beckwith was born on November 9, 1920, in Sacramento, California. His mother had mental
problems and his father was an alcoholic. He was later orphaned and raised by a cousin in
Greenwood. Beckwith did below average in school, and the only thing he really enjoyed was
guns. He later graduated from Columbia Military Academy in Mississippi. He worked at a
laundry mat until World War II broke out; he quickly enlisted in the marines and was sent
off to battle in Tarawa. While fighting, he was shot and fell into the water. He returned
to Greenwood where he failed to pass the officers training school qualifying exam in 1965.
Beckwith married Mary Louise Williams, better known as Willie, a year before he left the
service. They later had a son named Bryant (Pitock). Byron was just a man with troubled
past, trying to find where he fit in.

Byron was a troubled man coming back from WWII and it was hard for him to fit back in with
society. His nephew, Reed Massengill, once said, " For a guy coming back after WW II into
impoverished Mississippi, there was very little in this world that he could feel superior
to. Blacks were all the people he could look down on." People said that even in the racist
society, Beckwith was considered an extremist. (Pitock) the racist issue with Beckwith
turned personal when Medgar Evers Helped get James Meredith admitted into Ole Miss.
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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