“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.” – Medgar Evers
Thanks to the work of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and a few other congressman, the home of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, and his wife Myrlie, is now a national monument in Jackson, Mississippi. Formerly known as Medgar Evers House, it is now the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, reports the Charleston Chronicle.
The home, where Medgar was fatally shot in 1963, was built in the first planned middle-class subdivision for African-Americans in Mississippi after World War II.
Medgar, who was a World War II veteran, was famously known for his work as a civil rights leader. In 1954, he became secretary of the Mississippi NAACP where he worked tirelessly to organize voter registration drives and boycotts that pushed for racial equality. On June 12, 1963, he was fatally shot outside of his family residence by a white supremacist who was not convicted of his murder until 1994.
His widow, Myrlie, continued the work of her husband as a civil rights leader and journalist who served as chairwoman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.
“Medgar and Myrlie Evers are heroes whose contributions to the advancement of civil rights in Mississippi and our nation cannot be overstated,” NBC News reports U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker saying in a statement. He and Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith co-sponsored the proposal.
In 1993, the Evers family donated the three-bedroom home to the HBCU, Tougaloo College, where it was open by appointment for tours. It will now be taken over by the federal government, a move that the college supports, as it prepares to become a national monument.
Ben West of the National Park Service told Mississippi Public Broadcasting that after the president officially signs the proposal, the next steps will be to work with Tougaloo College, the Evers family and local neighbors, as the project could expand to nearby houses as part of the historic district.