Civil rights leader and political figure Charles Evers passes away at 97

Publié le par Yall Politics by Alan Lange

Civil rights leader and political figure Charles Evers passes away at 97

Civil rights and political leader Charles Evers has passed away today at age 97.

A World War II veteran, Evers succeeded his slain brother, Medgar Evers, as NAACP Field Secretary and head of the organization following his assassination.  Charles then went on to a notable political history.

He was elected as the Mayor of Fayette in 1969, becoming the first black mayor of a bi-racial town in Mississippi since Reconstruction.  He later went on to run unsuccessfully for Governor in 1971 and then later as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in 1978.

The family issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

The world lost a fearless Civil Rights leader this morning. The Honorable James Charles Evers, brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers, passed away peacefully and with family at the home of his daughter, Charlene.

The life mission of Charles Evers was to advance the work of his beloved brother, who was assassinated on June 12, 1963.

After his killing, Charles Evers rushed to Jackson to take his brother’s place as field secretary for the Mississippi NAACP, and in 1969, he became Mississippi’s first black mayor since Reconstruction in a biracial town.

After serving as mayor, he returned to the airwaves with his radio program, “Let’s Talk,” on WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi.

Our family appreciates the outpouring of affection, love and support over the years. Our family is heartbroken and proud of his legacy. His voice will be missed. James Charles Evers was 97 years old.

President Donald Trump expressed his sadness of the loss of Evers, calling him a trailblazer and fearless leader.

Evers was a barrier breaker who always featured straight talk and defied the political norms all the way to his death.  He was an informal political advisor to LBJ, Reagan, RFK and countless other national leaders.  He spoke well of President Obama upon his election, but in later years became more overtly Republican.  He was an avid supporter of Donald Trump and went on to endorse him publicly and campaign for him.

Most Jacksonians know Evers as the station manager at WMPR 90.1 FM where he used his pulpit to advocate for change in the black community.  He began his career as a disc jockey in 1949 after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Evers has written two autobiographies or memoirs, the first in 1971 entitled Evers and Have No Fear.

Mississippi leaders issued statements on the passing of Evers, among them Governor Tate Reeves, shown below.

Y’all Politics will update this article with more reaction as statements come in.


More reactions to the passing of Charles Evers:

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today released the following statement on the passing of civil rights leader Charles Evers:

Charles Evers was an absolute classic. His rich and colorful story makes him unique among our state’s historical figures. His career covered the spectrum from his roguish youth to a respected civil rights leader, mayor, businessman, and radio host. Charles Evers was never afraid to challenge the accepted norms or fly in the face of political correctness. As an elected official he navigated the circuitous route from Freedom Democrat to Independent to Republican, even serving as a Trump elector in 2016. He used his powerful personality and platform to change Mississippi for the better. He was one of my favorites, and I doubt we will ever see another like him.

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