MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Medgar Evers: Background information when reading The Help

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett X
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 528 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker
Buy This Book

About this Book

Medgar Evers

This article relates to The Help

Print Review

As Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny begin their project, the Civil Rights Movement is boiling to high heat. It is 1963 and President Kennedy has just spoken out in support of Civil Rights; however, the message has yet to penetrate Mississippi where Medgar Evers was just brutally murdered by segregationist whites. This example of racial violence gives Aibileen and Minny pause as they consider the repercussions of what they are doing with Skeeter, but they decide to forge ahead because things need to change.

Medgar EversMedgar Evers's murder resounded across the country and was seen as an example of racial injustice and violence in the Deep South. Evers had been a civil rights activist for much of his life. After fighting in World War II, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant and returned home to Mississippi in 1945. While registering to vote in a local election, intimidation by whites prevented him from casting his ballot. The experience inspired him to become an activist, and he would go on to become a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement: "I made up my mind then that it would not be like that again - at least not for me. I was committed, in a way, to changing things."

As president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), Evers helped organize a boycott of service stations that denied African-Americans use of their restrooms. Until his assassination in 1963, he was involved in multiple boycotts and played an integral role in the desegregation of the University of Mississippi. In the final weeks before his death, Evers was the target of multiple threats, not surprising considering the heat of the controversy over civil rights.

On June 12, 1963, Evers returned home from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. After he emerged from his car carrying a t-shirt that read "Jim Crow Must Go," he was shot in the back and killed. Medgar Evers was buried in Arlington Cemetery on June 19 and was mourned across the country. That two juries composed entirely of whites failed to convict the man accused of Evers' murder, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, caused even greater outrage. Bob Dylan, Eudora Welty, Nina Simone and a variety of other artists wrote songs and stories about the man who died in the struggle for civil rights.

In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was finally convicted for the murder of Medgar Evers. He died in prison in 2001 after failing to win his appeals.

Filed under People, Eras & Events

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Help. It originally ran in February 2009 and has been updated for the April 2011 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Kindness of Strangers
    The Kindness of Strangers
    by Michael E. McCullough
    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Everyone, at some point in their life, has ...
  • Book Jacket: Hamnet
    Hamnet
    by Maggie O'Farrell
    William Shakespeare's name is never used in Hamnet — a conspicuous absence around which Maggie...
  • Book Jacket: After the Last Border
    After the Last Border
    by Jessica Goudeau
    According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the number of displaced people around the world is ...
  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    Crossings
    by Alex Landragin
    Crossings is a beautiful, if slightly messy, time-bending debut. It reads like a vampire novel, sans...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Hieroglyphics
    by Jill McCorkle

    A mesmerizing novel about piecing together the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy

    An instant bestseller set on the brink of catastrophe, for readers of Flight Behavior and Station Eleven.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Every Bone a Prayer
by Ashley Blooms

The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer
by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.