Medgar Evers: Background information when reading The Help

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The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

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

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Beyond the Book:
Medgar Evers

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 ...

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