Civil Rights Pioneers
Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer
Issue Date: February 21, 2009
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 10 ¾
Color: MulticoloredMedgar Evers was 37 when his life was ended by an assassin’s bullet. It was 1963 and thirty years would pass before his murderer was brought to justice.
After serving his country in World War II, Evers returned home to find himself denied the right to vote because of his color. From that day on, Evers devoted his life to fighting discrimination. He organized boycotts, voter registrations, and picket lines. With the NAACP he helped end segregation at the University of Mississippi.
Evers’ activism led to his death at the hands of a Ku Klux Klan member. In 1994, the killer was sentenced to life for the murder of Medgar Evers – who for three decades had symbolized the civil rights movement.
The speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer electrified people engaged in the fight for equality in 1960s America. Granddaughter of slaves, Hamer rose above beatings, death threats, and imprisonment to co-found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Her work with the MFDP during “Freedom Summer” (1964) led to the recognition of black delegates, including herself, at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Believing civil rights concerns all races, Fannie Lou Hamer’s religious convictions fueled her struggle for freedom – a struggle reflected on her gravestone: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”