March 17


March 17, 1933 Myrlie Beasley (Myrlie Evers-Williams), civil rights activist, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. While attending Alcorn A&M College, she met Medgar Evers and they were married in 1951. Evers was murdered in 1963 because of his civil rights activities.

Evers-Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Pomona College in 1968 and served as director of consumer affairs for Atlantic Richfield Company. In 1971, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1987, Evers-Williams became the first African American woman to serve as a commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.

In 1995, she became the first woman to serve as chairperson of the NAACP board, a position she held until 1998. That same year, she received the NAACP Spingarn Medal. Evers-Williams has co-authored two books, “For Us, the Living” (1967) and “Watch Me Fly: What I Learned On the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be” (1999).

Evers-Williams founded and currently serves as president of the Medgar Evers Institute, whose mission is “to impact future generations in successfully leading and developing positive change through cultivated learning, generating new solutions, and promoting civic engagement.”


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