Interview with Myrlie Evers
QUESTION 40
INTERVIEWER:

CUT I'M SORRY.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THAT WAS TAKE THIRTY, THIS WILL BE THIRTY-ONE. SPEED…MARK.

Myrlie Evers:

During , mid-1962/1963, Medgar was going through a real assessment of the direction in which he was headed as the leader of the NAACP in the state of Mississippi. There was a decision that he had to make in terms of whether the NAACP should follow the legal very slow process of change, of whether he should move into a more activist role, and when I say move into a more activist role, he and his followers. The young people who had sat in at the restaurants and the library and many of the other establishments had encouraged Medgar as well as others, other blacks, to join them and not be afraid.Medgar did make a—Medgar did make a conscious decision to move the Mississippi movement ahead. He had—

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THIS WILL BE SCENE ONE, TAKE THIRTY-THREE.

Myrlie Evers:

Medgar did make a decision that the legal procedures that the NAACP had been following in the state of Mississippi, were beginning to be somewhat outdated and that the movement had to accelerate its efforts. Certainly the students had helped to lead the way, and as Medgar tried to get the support from the national office to endorse the sit-ins, and other kinds of activities, he found that he had come up against a road block. The national office did not feel that those strategies and techniques were the ones that the organization should be pursuing. As a result of that, Medgar had some very difficult days trying to decide whether he should actually remain with the NAACP or not. The NAACP was more than an organization, it was a family, people who worked very closely together and loved each other, but he also realized that the state of Mississippi and the young people who were involved and the people as a whole, were not going to remain the same, that things were changing, and the organization had to move along with it. He being the key spokesman, really the only person with his neck stuck out there, realized that he had to make a decision to move the efforts along, and he was prepared to do that even if it meant, as he told me, leaving the NAACP and starting his own movement.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THIS WILL BE TAKE THIRTY-FOUR. SPEED…MARKING.