Medgar Evers honored at Associated Press banquet - WNEM TV 5

Medgar Evers honored at Associated Press banquet

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Myrlie Evers-Williams Myrlie Evers-Williams
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

He's been called a trailblazer for civil rights, but did you also know that Medgar Evers was considered the most significant pioneer in Mississippi's broadcast television history?

Evers was posthumously given the Pioneers of Television award at the Mississippi Associated Press banquet, specifically, for a speech he petitioned to give on WLBT's airwaves for six years.

At that time,station management supported segregation efforts and aired programming that supported that stance when possible.

Still, Evers got equal time to express his views in 1963 because he knew those airwaves were public and his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams said he wouldn't give up.

"He wanted them to know they too could achieve those areas of success, and that he was willing willing, I say  to pay the price. And I said, 'How could you leave us?' And his reply: 'It's for you. It's for my children," said Myrlie Evers-Williams, Medgar's widow. 

Evers' speech had a ripple effect, eventually causing the FCC to investigate and subsequently revoke WLBT's license.

Since then, it has become one of the most diverse television stations in the South.

 

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