The Magnolia Literacy Project
A Young Writer’s Perspective: MiYunna Woodson
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, MiYunna Woodson, was selected by a team of judges as second place winner for her essay, “Never Too Young to Serve”!
“Never Too Young to Serve”
"Medgar Evers was a Black American Civil Rights Activist who was born July 2, 1925. He studied at Alcorn Agricultural College, where he later graduated" (Ifill). Something I found interesting about Evers is that he was hardworking and dedicated to his family and community at a very young age. He learned a lot from his older brother, Charles Evers, before he had any experiences with the Civil Rights Movement. According to Dr. Dernoral Davis, Chair of The History and Philosophy Departments at Jackson State University, "[Medgar] spent most of his time with Charles, whom he idolized." I think it's important to spend time with your older siblings because you learn a lot from them while they protect you from any causes. In the article, “Civil Rights Movement”, the Civil rights Movement is described as, “a struggle for social justice that took place mainly in the 1950s and 1960s for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law in the United States." From reading about the Civil Rights Movement, I learned that it was a war for the Black American race. Evers fought to make life better for Black people even though it was not easy for him. According to Biography.com, "Proving up to the task in his first experience as a Civil Rights Organizer, he spearheaded the group's boycott against gas stations that refused to let Colored people use their restrooms." This meant that Evers was in charge of the boycott for the Black people. A boycott is when people decide to stop utilizing a company's services. I think this was a good idea because Evers helped to make Black people feel counted. This was a good strategy because the business owners didn't want to lose their businesses. He also worked to make it easier for Black students to go to colleges of their choice. As stated by Medgar Evers College, "Medgar Evers helped James Meredith in his effort to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962”. So this means Evers was trying to integrate the segregated college in order for Black students to go there. Schools should have been open to all races during that time because more students would have probably dreamed of going to that particular college. Evers made big contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. I can relate to making a worthwhile difference for a good cause because I remember when I shared a math strategy with my classmates. After coming up with this strategy, it really helped my classmates and me to correctly solve the math problems. Sharing the math strategy was just like Evers' solutions to issues during the historical Civil Rights Movement.
Biography.com Editors. “Medgar Evers Biography”. The Biography.com website, 24 Jan. 2018. https://www.biography.com/activist/medgar-evers. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022. Civil Rights Movement”. History.com website, 2022. https://www.history.com/topics/civil-rights-movement. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022. Davis, Dernoral. “Medgar Evers.” Zinn Education Project, 2022. https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/evers-medgar/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022. Ifill, Gwen. “Honoring Civil Rights Hero Medgar Evers, Warrior for U.S.” PBS NewsHour, 5 June 2013. https://www.tpt.org/pbs-newshour/video/honoring- civil-rights-hero-medgar-evers-warrior-for-u-s-1377723922/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022. 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.