Q&A: Widow of Murdered Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers Moves Beyond Hatred

On the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, Myrlie Evers describes her journey from bitterness to hope.

Among the veterans of the civil rights movement, few are more revered than Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Medgar Evers, Mississippi's first NAACP field secretary. Medgar was gunned down in his driveway on June 12, 1963.

A year after his death, Myrlie and their three children moved to Los Angeles, where she became a prominent activist as well as protector of Medgar's legacy. There, she met Walter Williams, a longshoreman and union activist. They were married in 1976. He died of cancer in 1995. Two years ago, she came home to Mississippi. (Related: "Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi Arouses Hope—and Distrust.")

Evers-Williams talked to National Geographic from her office at the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute in Jackson,

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