Interview with Myrlie Evers
QUESTION 48
INTERVIEWER:

SO WHAT DID, WHAT DID THE ACQUITAL OF YOUR HUSBAND'S ASSASIN SAY TO YOU ABOUT, THE ASSASSIN SAY TO YOU ABOUT THIS COUNTRY AND JUSTICE.

Myrlie Evers:

Two trials were held for the accused assassin of Medgar, both ended in hung juries. And the whole case was very interesting insomuch as the way the accused killer was treated. He had a large cell, that was open for him to come and go as he wanted to. He had television sets. He had typewriters. He had all, almost all of the comforts of home. This man was also accorded a major parade along the route of the highway on his way home. People had banners that were waved welcoming the hero home. The accused killer also made a statement to the press that he was glad to have gotten rid of varmints. After the—oh, and I must say too, that the then-Governor, Ross Barnett, actually made a visit to the accused during the trial, the first trial, and walked in the door when I was on the witness stand, stood, looked at me, turned and went over to the accused killer, sat down, shook his hand, said some remarks, and got up and went out. Also, the accused killer, after the second trial, ran for Lieutenant Governor of the state of Mississippi and he stated that he was doing this to show his appreciation to the people of Mississippi for what they had given, the support that they had given him while he was incarcerated. Interestingly enough, the man who ran for Governor was the prosecuting attorney. It says a couple of things to me and I had mixed emotions about it all. One was that this was the first time in the state of Mississippi that a white man had ever been brought to trial for the murder of a black, and a black man. That was a step forward, a very small one, but a step forward. However, the fact that there were two trials, that this man was treated as a hero, and that everything was dropped, still said to me at that time, and I'm not sure whether it isn't even at this day in time, that black is black. That perhaps the justice that is accorded other ethnic groups in the United States, and certainly Mississippi, is still not accorded that of blacks. We're still fighting for first class citizenship whether it be in life, or whether it be in death.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

THIS WILL BE TAKE FORTY-FOUR.