Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be

Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be

by Myrlie Evers-Williams, Melinda Blau
     
 

As the First full-time chairman of the NAACP and a popular speaker, as a committed activist and the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, as a powerful businesswoman breaking racial and gender barriers in corporate boardrooms and municipal government, Myrlie Evers-Williams is one of the most respected African-Americans in this country. Her dignity and…  See more details below

Overview

As the First full-time chairman of the NAACP and a popular speaker, as a committed activist and the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, as a powerful businesswoman breaking racial and gender barriers in corporate boardrooms and municipal government, Myrlie Evers-Williams is one of the most respected African-Americans in this country. Her dignity and perseverance in bringing her husband's killer to justice - a battle she waged for more than thirty years - have made her an inspiration and role model for millions of women of all ages and races. Yet few people know the private side of this most remarkable of public lives, a side that Myrlie Evers-Williams shares for the first time in Watch Me Fly. Here is a moving and vivid portrait of a childhood within a family of proud, determined Mississippi women; of the harrowing dangers her family faced during the civil rights struggle; of her efforts as a single mother to raise three children while attending college, efforts that left her battling depression; of her opening her heart to another wonderful man, only to lose him to cancer; and of her path from business and civic careers to her brilliant leadership of the NAACP through scandal to a newfound vitality. Watch Me Fly is not just a traditional memoir, however, but what Myrlie Evers-Williams calls an "instructive autobiography," a book that links her memories to the wisdom she has gained over the years.

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Editorial Reviews

Charisse Jones
Poignant in parts and at times atrtingly candid, [Watch Me Fly], written with Melinda Blau, shows the insecurities and frailties that lie behind even the most polished and stalwart of images.
USA Today
Hallie Levine
...[I]t's the story of an extraordinary life — one that will likely inspire women of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds.
Biography Magazine
Library Journal
The widow of Medgar Evers, Evers-Williams is a Civil Rights leader herself. Here she offers her life story as an inspiration to us all.
Kirkus Reviews
A poignant memoir by one of our nation's most admired African-American women, written with the assistance of journalist Blau. Widow of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers who has herself served as chairwoman of the NAACP, Evers-Williams chronicles her own evolution and turning points, while offering practical advice to readers. Though her tone is occasionally preachy and her prose is a bit uninspired, she offers a glimpse into not only one woman's struggles, but, indirectly, into those of a nation. When she first married Evers, she not only resented the time he spent away from her but didn't even share his "zeal for the cause." For, raised by her paternal grandparents in a professional, middle-class setting, Evers-Williams had been largely sheltered from the poverty and discrimination that devastated the lives of many African-Americans. As the wife of an activist, however, she soon enough was exposed to the blatant racism that poisoned much of the South. At the height of Medgar Evers's efforts, ominous phone calls and other harassments pervaded their family life. Following the murder of her husband, Evers-Williams fought the good fight as a single mother; her determination to raise her three children in a more humane environment led her not only to civil rights but to human rights in a broader context. Among her many personal triumphs was her success in seeing her husband's assassin finally convicted decades after the murder. In her 60's, while nursing her second husband in his final stages of prostate cancer, Evers-Williams rose to the number-one position in the NAACP, helping to save it from numerous financial and political disasters that plagued the organization. Creditingmuch of her success in overcoming adversity to her deep faith in God, she refers to herself as "still-growing, a work in progress." Driven by passion, this book instructs and inspires.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316255202
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/11/1999
Pages:
324
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.44(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Marian Wright Edelman
Watch Me Fly is a triumph. Evers-Williams has given us a moving tribute to Medgar and to those who loved him and followed in his footsteps through one of the most frieghtening and momentous periods in our nation's history. The book is also a touching and inspiring story of the powerful and enduring love of a remarkable waomn and her family.
— Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
Coretta Scott King
Watch Me Fly tells the inspiring story of Myrlie Evers-Williams's journey through wholeness against the backdrop of the American Civil Rights Movement. This beautiful and poignant memoir contains many insightful lessons about meeting the challenges of family, career, and social activism, courage, grace and dignity. It should be of compelling interest to everyone seeking a deeper understanding of Civil Rights history, the meaning of womanhood, and the struggle for personal fulfillment. I recommend it highly.

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