Interview with Myrlie Evers
QUESTION 38
INTERVIEWER:

OK, LET'S PICK IT UP WITH THE CHILDREN, WHAT THEY REPRESENTED IN TERMS OF MEDGAR HAVING TO DEAL WITH CHANGING HIS OWN IDEAS OF WHAT DO AND WHERE TO GO WITH THE MOVEMENT.

Myrlie Evers:

In the sixties, Medgar was going through a little bit of soul searching in terms of whether the legal method was the quickest way and the best way to move us forward. Certainly the young people who had been involved and who really were taking the leadership in the activism, helped to make him focus more on whether they, whether we should be pursuing things in a legal manner or whether we should be pursuing them more or less in the streets. Medgar was very moved by, by the young people that volunteered to sit in the restaurants, who were beaten, who were spat upon, and who were thrown in a kind of concentration camp in the fair grounds of Jackson, Mississippi. He was also moved by the Freedom Riders. What was happening to him, he saw that this country as a whole, and particularly the South was becoming more violent, and questioned whether that violence should not be met with violence of some sort, yet the other part of him realized that nothing could be solved by violence but more violence. He wanted to change some of the strategies and techniques that we were using in Mississippi and of course, being an organization man, being the field secretary for the NAACP, he had to get approval from the national office. When he approached the management there with some suggestions for change, that perhaps would lead to a degree of violence or at least that were not as slow as the legal method had been, he found himself up against a stone wall.