Have No Fear: The Charles Evers Storyby Charles Evers, Andrew Szanton, Evers, Szanton
A fierce warrior in his own right, the brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers fought on the front lines of the greatest struggle for America's heart and soul since the Civil War. Now, in a work of uncompromising honesty and power, Charles Evers re-creates the raw emotions of those times, conveying all of the rage and hope of a people rising against… See more details below
A fierce warrior in his own right, the brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers fought on the front lines of the greatest struggle for America's heart and soul since the Civil War. Now, in a work of uncompromising honesty and power, Charles Evers re-creates the raw emotions of those times, conveying all of the rage and hope of a people rising against injustice and demanding equality. Have No Fear is charged with the passion, conviction, and vigorous spirit of a battle-scarred soldier who has met his foe and emerged victorious. Charles Evers grew up in Mississippi during the 1920s and '30s. Proud and headstrong, quick to action, he lived by his father's creed: Have no fear. Learning early about the harsh realities of poverty and unrelenting racism, and determined to erase the color line, he forged a special pact with his younger brother: "Medgar and I made a sacred oath as young boys: Whatever happened to one of us, the other would carry on." It was a pact that Charles would honor for the rest of his life. Shattered by Medgars assassination in 1963, Charles seized his brother's mantle as head of the Mississippi NAACP. His volatile personality alienated many but inspired more - young and old, rich and poor, black and white. Always a shrewd businessman, he became an even shrewder politician, leading the biracial coalition that unseated an all-white Mississippi delegation at the notorious 1968 Democratic convention. Elected the first black mayor in Mississippi since Reconstruction, he made a courageous run for governor on the campaign promise "Evers for Everybody." A blunt, often blistering account of one man's lifelong battle for respect - for both himself and all Americans - Have No Fear is packed with insight and little-known details about Charles Evers's friends and allies - Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Thurgood Marshall, and Fannie Lou Hamer, among others.
Evers, along with coauthor and oral historian Szanton, provides a fascinating, unorthodox portrait not only of his own unconventional life but of the civil rights movement as it took shape in his native Mississippi. Best known as the brother of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, Charles had a role in the movement that has been underplayed, a casualty of his amoral behavior. Evers wanted not merely to survive but to get rich in the white man's world. He did what he could, which was to manage whorehouses, sell bootleg whiskey, and run numbers operations. While becoming best friends with Bobby Kennedy, he twice endorsed George Wallace in his bid for the US vice presidency and more recently voted for Ronald Reagan for president. Evers has little praise for his contemporaries in the civil rights movement. He portrays Roy Wilkins, along with the former leadership of the NAACP, as a pampered do-nothing; Stokely Carmichael and Rap Brown are accused of being frauds for preaching separatism while sleeping with their white girlfriends. Evers heaps his greatest scorn, however, on white liberals. "Ask liberals why they use lily-white private schools and they brag about not calling you `nigger.' It's deeds that count not words." Evers's greatest accomplishments, to his credit, were deeds. As the first black mayor of a biracial Mississippi town, he expanded city services, provided jobs, and gave both black and white people in his town a sense of dignity.
Though often self-righteous, unyielding, and intolerant, Evers's voice is worth hearing. His depiction of the racism he faced as he was coming of age in Mississippi is as melodramatic as it is authentic and significant.
- Turner Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 2.10(w) x 3.10(h) x 0.80(d)
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