Recognizing the immense impact that Medgar Evers’ life and Myrlie Evers’ contribution had on the African American civil rights movement, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today designated the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home as an official African American Civil Rights Network (AARCN) site. He also announced the Trump Administration is opening up the formal public comment process to designate the home a national monument. The home, which is located in Jackson, Mississippi, is the fourth site to be designated under the African American Civil Rights Network Act, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in January 2018. The network includes historic locations that tell the history of the civil rights movement in the United States. Secretary Zinke made the announcement at the historic home, which has been owned and preserved by Tougaloo College since the 1990s, and was joined by members of the Evers family including Medgar’s brother, Charles, his daughter, Reena Evers-Everette, as well as Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, Senator Roger Wicker, and Tougaloo College President Dr. Beverly Hogan.
“Both Medgar and Myrlie Evers were fearless civil rights leaders who fought for equality and justice. The death of Medgar Evers reverberated throughout the nation and served as a catalyst to the civil rights movement,” said Secretary Zinke. “His life and the home he shared with his wife serve as a place of both reflection and teaching of what Medgar, and many others, have given up in the fight for equality in our nation. It’s an honor stand with members of the Evers family, the community, and local officials to add it to the African American Civil Rights Network.”
“On behalf of the Medgar Evers family, we want to thank Tougaloo College and President Hogan for helping preserve the legacy and contributions Medgar made in the fight for African-American civil rights,” said Myrlie Evers. “We are honored that the Department of the Interior would add the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home to the African-American Civil Rights Network. We hope one day to be celebrating together as we announce that it has been named a national monument.”
“From his service during World War II to his efforts to advance freedom and equality at home, Medgar Evers dedicated himself to improving the lives of others,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “Myrlie Evers has tirelessly, and with profound elegance, continued his work. It is is so appropriate their home receive this designation, in recognition of the contributions the Evers family has made to Mississippi and America. I am so grateful to Secretary Zinke and everyone else who made this special day possible.”
“The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home is an outstanding addition to the African American Civil Rights Network,” said Senator Roger Wicker. “This designation will help more Americans learn about the life and legacy of Medgar Evers and the civil rights movement in Mississippi. I commend Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration for their commitment to honoring and promoting our history.”
“This home is significant, not just as the scene of a tragic murder, but also as a symbol of the great sacrifices made to advance civil rights by individuals and families,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “I commend President Trump and Secretary Zinke for federal recognition of the Evers home.”
“This historic site creates tremendous educational opportunities, under the tutelage of Tougaloo College and President Beverly Wade Hogan, by recognizing the brave souls who fought to make the promises enshrined in our constitution finally ring true,” said Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay in a letter to the Secretary. “I am extremely grateful to Secretary Zinke for his leadership, support, and development of the Civil Rights Networks across the nation through the National Park Service.”
“Medgar Evers’ life stands as a bastion for the fight for equality and his assassination a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement,” said Beverly Wade Hogan, President, Tougaloo College. “Tougaloo College is honored to have been gifted the Medgar Evers Home by his widow, Myrlie Evers Williams, and to work with the Evers family to preserve his legacy and immense contributions to our nation. We commend the Department of the Interior for recognizing the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home first as a National Historic Landmark and now as an addition to the African-American Civil Rights Network. It is our hope that the recognition of this symbol of freedom will provide broader exposure for the people of the world to learn more about the life and legacy of Medgar Evers, and in doing do, inspire greater work to advance a more just, humane and inclusive world for all humankind.”