Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America (Hardcover)

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America By Joy-Ann Reid Cover Image

Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America (Hardcover)

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Medgar Evers deserves a place alongside Malcolm X and Dr. King in our historical memory. Evers, with Myrlie as his partner in activism and in life, was doing civil rights work in the single most hostile and dangerous environment in America.”—from Medgar and Myrlie

By MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid, a triumphant work of biography that repositions slain Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers at the heart of America's struggle for freedom, and celebrates Myrlie Evers's extraordinary activism after her husband's assassination in the driveway of their Mississippi home.

"I love this book. The empathic, brilliant, and wise Joy Reid has brought us the poignant, fascinating inside story of Medgar and Myrlie Evers, transformational leaders who confronted pure evil and risked their lives to ensure that all American children might grow up in a United States that was more just. As Reid shows us, that painful task is now more urgent than ever.” — Michael Beschloss

Myrlie Louise Beasley met Medgar Evers on her first day of college. They fell in love at first sight, married just one year later, and Myrlie left school to focus on their growing family.

Medgar became the field secretary for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP, charged with beating back the most intractable and violent resistance to black voting rights in the country. Myrlie served as Medgar’s secretary and confidant, working hand in hand with him as they struggled against public accommodations and school segregation, lynching, violence, and sheer despair within their state’s “black belt.” They fought to desegregate the intractable University of Mississippi, organized picket lines and boycotts, despite repeated terroristic threats, including the 1962 firebombing of their home, where they lived with their three young children.

On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers became the highest profile victim of Klan-related assassination of a black civil rights leader at that time; gunned down in the couple’s driveway in Jackson. In the wake of his tragic death, Myrlie carried on their civil rights legacy; writing a book about Medgar’s fight, trying to win a congressional seat, and becoming a leader of the NAACP in her own right.

In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie’s relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today. 

Joy-Ann Reid is the host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut. Her books include the New York Times bestseller The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story. Reid previously hosted the weekend MSNBC show AM Joy. The former managing editor of The Grio, Reid has had columns appearing in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York, and The Daily Beast. She lives in Maryland and Brooklyn.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063068797
ISBN-10: 0063068796
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English

“Compelling. … Reid centers her engrossing history on the bond between Medgar Evers and his wife, now Myrlie Evers-Williams. … Reid conducted extensive interviews with Evers-Williams and offers [an] intimate account.” — New York Times Book Review

“In the month that revels in love, indulge your passion for reading with these works. MSNBC anchor Joy-Ann Reid delves into the lives of Medgar and Myrlie Evans, offering a compelling narrative of a love story that played a significant role in shaping American history…. shares the extraordinary lives and overlooked legacy of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers, offering an intimate look at their inspiring love story and their crucial work for civil rights, with Medgar's widow Myrlie's blessing.” — Ebony

“Writer and MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid has written the book we didn’t even know we needed. In her latest, Reid tells the story of Medgar and Myrlie Evers: their love and leadership, their resistance and resonance. Their remarkable story is finally told in this captivating and inspirational volume.”  — Ms. magazine

“Joy-Ann Reid takes an in-depth look at the lives and legacy of civil rights champions Medgar and Myrlie Evers in “Medgar and Myrlie.” With the blessing of the Evers family, Reid shares the story of the couples’ work on the front lines of the struggle and how even after Medgar’s assassination, Myrlie worked to continue their activism.” — The Root, “Books We Can’t Wait to Read”

"It's a love story that helps paint a fuller picture of the civil rights movement. Activist Medgar Evers was killed in 1963 by a white supremacist outside his home in Mississippi. His murder thrust Myrlie Evers into the spotlight, becoming a freedom fighter in her own right. Joy-Ann Reid traces their extraordinary lives in Medgar and Myrlie." — Geoff Bennett, PBS NewsHour

"Joy-Ann Reid tells the story of the civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers. Reid follows Myrlie beyond Medgar’s 1963 assassination and into her struggles during the succeeding decades, a time when she found her voice as a public speaker in the movement for racial justice." — New York Times ("17 New Books Coming in February")

"Buoyed by first-person interviews with Myrlie herself as well as vibrant research into the tumultuous and indelible days of Freedom Riders and sit-ins, police brutality and FBI surveillance, Reid’s spotlight shines brightest on the commitment the Everses made to the movement and to each other. As is befitting of the biographies of true heroes, Reid’s double portrait soars and inspires." — Booklist (starred review)

“Details how the wife of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers carried forward their legacy after his assassination in 1963.” — New York Times Book Review

"I love this book. The empathic, brilliant, and wise Joy Reid has brought us the poignant, fascinating inside story of an important marriage in American history....Medgar and Myrlie Evers confronted pure evil and risked their lives to ensure that all American children might grow up in a United States that was more just. As Reid shows us, that painful task is now more urgent than ever.”  — Michael Beschloss

"A compelling narrative of a love story that played a significant role in shaping American history. . . . Joy Ann Reid shares the extraordinary lives and overlooked legacy of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers, offering a intimate look at their inspiring love story and their crucial work for civil rights, with Medgar's widow Myrlie's blessing." — Ebony