A free public program examining the life and work of slain Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers will take place Sept. 20 at Mississippi State.
Michael V. Williams, assistant professor of history and African American Studies at the university, is leading the 4:30 p.m. presentation in McCool Hall's Taylor Auditorium.
Sponsored by the African American Studies program, the program is titled "Sit Me Up and Turn Me Loose: Medgar Wiley Evers as Civil Rights Activist, Leader and Martyr for the Fight for Justice."
Evers (1925-63) was a Newton County native who became active in the state's civil rights struggle after returning from military service in World War II. Assassinated outside his Jackson home by virulent racist Byron De La Beckwith of Greenwood, the NAACP field secretary was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Evers' work, combined with the several murder trials resulting from his murder, help elevate his name to national prominence.
Williams is an Oxford native and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Mississippi. In addition to a bachelor's degree, he also completed master's and doctoral degrees at Ole Miss.
At MSU, his primary teaching and research areas include civil rights, black intellectual radicalism, social conflict, the African-American experience, and U.S. history since 1877. For additional biographical information, visit www.history.msstate.edu/mwilliams.htm.
At the program's conclusion, Williams will sign copies of his 2011 book "Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr" (University of Arkansas Press).