The Magnolia Literacy Project
A Young Writer’s Perspective: Genesis Hopson
During the spring 2022 semester, Blackburn Laboratory Middle School (a Jackson Public School) partnered with The Greater St. James M. B. Church to sponsor the “Medgar Evers Art and Essay Contest”.
This investment in Jackson youth was spearheaded by Rev. Tony Montgomery, Pastor of The Greater St. James M.B. Church. Rev. Montgomery and his church honored winners and other participants at an awards ceremony, providing certificates, trophies, and monetary gifts.
Participating youth were asked to respond to the question: "Who was Medgar Evers, and what was his contribution to the Civil Rights Movement?"
Sixth Grader, Genesis Hopson, was selected by a team of judges as first place winner for her essay, “New Day”!
According to Medgar Evers College, “Medgar Evers was a 37-year-old Black male born in Decatur, Mississippi on July 2, 1925. He graduated from Alcorn State University and became a Civil Rights Activist”. I appreciate the fact that Evers chose to be a part of efforts to desegregate schools and public places. He wanted to help Black people with the unjust issue of segregation. In my opinion, it wasn't fair for Black people to go to a school where they were not taught subjects that people of a different race were taught. I think that if White people had the privilege to gain a good education and Black children weren't, that wasn't right or fair.
Evers also worked for Black people to have the right to vote. He wanted a change in the world. He believed that if White people had the right to vote, Black people should too. As a result of the hard work from Evers and others who fought for the right to vote, Black people can go to the polls to cast their vote and feel safe today. Evers didn't want Black people to feel left out or feel like they weren't as smart as White people. Unfortunately, we still face negativity from some people. They often make decisions to yell racial slurs or say they want voting rights to go back to how it was in the 60's. Black people must continue to stand together, exercise our rights, and remain free. Learning about the injustice of the past will let us know that we don't have to go backwards. Riding and sitting behind a screen at the back of the bus is over! Getting knocked off the sidewalk during a civil protest must stop! We have the right to vote!
According to Medgar Evers College, "Medgar Evers passed away in 1963 in his driveway at his home in Jackson, Mississippi. Evers had attended an NAACP function and was returning home just after midnight that same day. He was struck by a sniper's bullet". Unfortunately, Evers was killed because he was doing something positive. Many people didn't appreciate what he was doing.
I believe Mr. Medgar Evers’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement were great! He is noted in history as an African American hero. He desired for future generations to have equal rights. We should all thank him for his notable acts and the changes he fought for.
Medgar Evers College. “Honor Medgar Evers by Fighting for Voting Rights”.
https://www.mec.cuny.edu/history/legacy-of-medgar-evers/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022.