Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
Nonfiction by Myrlie Evers-Williams and Melinda Blau Little, Brown & Company (Hardcover, $23.00, ISBN: 0316255203, 1/1999) 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 Everss 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. Crediting much 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. ―Copyright © 1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.