TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Charles Evers, famed civil rights leader, will speak to the Blount Undergraduate Initiative Convocation on Tuesday, April 11, at 3:30 p.m. in the Ferguson Theater at The University of Alabama.
Evers, brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, will speak on the topic “How Far Have We Come?” The presentation is a class lecture, but it is open to the public with a question-and-answer period afterwards.
Evers was born in Decatur, Miss., in 1922. He served overseas in the Army during World War II, and graduated from Alcorn A&M in 1950. He settled in Philadelphia, Miss., where he ran several businesses and participated in the Regional Council of Negro Leadership and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Along with his brother Medgar, he encouraged blacks to register for the vote and mobilize against segregation. As a result of these activities, Evers faced mounting pressure from local whites that eventually forced him to leave Mississippi. He settled in Chicago where he ran a successful nightclub.
Evers did not return to the state until the assassination of Medgar in June 1963. Immediately, he assumed his brother’s post as field secretary of the state NAACP. As field secretary, he successfully fought for the voting and other constitutional rights of blacks and encouraged them to run for office. Beginning in 1969, he served for two terms as major of Fayette, Miss. In doing this, he became the first black mayor of a racially mixed Southern town since Reconstruction.
Evers, who is presently the manager of WMPR radio station in Jackson, Miss., was recently elected supervisor of Jefferson County, Miss. His other achievements include development and implementation of the Head Start Program through which many of the state’s students received their education. He also received a Chubb Fellowship from Yale University. His autobiography is Have No Fear (1997).
In the early days of the civil rights movement, Evers worked with such diverse figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and his brother Medgar.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.