Harold Dow of CBS recently spent time in Jackson, Mississippi interviewing Charles Evers (Medgar's brother -- who took over Medgar's work after his assassination) http://www.wiley.com/... and his Granddaughters, twins Corrie and Courtney Cockrell -- as well as other members of the family. This interview will air on CBS as part of their Obama Inaugural coverage the night of January 20, 2009 (at 9:00pm Eastern).
There have been several articles written about the twins, who were accepted into the Ole Miss law school 50 years after their great uncle Medgar was denied admission to the law school due to his race. Medgar worked for years to get the school integrated, and was successful in 1962, a year before his death. With his descendants there (one of the twins has graduated from law school and the other graduates this May, their family has come full circle).
January's Glamour Magazine recently did an article on the story (January '09 issue).
More below the fold.
Here are a few snippets from the Glamour article.
CORRIE: The story of our uncle Medgar’s murder has been instilled in us since we were babies. We grew up hearing stories about how forceful he was about civil rights during a time when everyone was living in fear. His passion made him a target—he used to have to sneak over to our mother’s house [his niece] because if people knew he was visiting her, she would have been in danger.They also eloquently express their feeling about their first exposure to Barack Obama (at the '04 Democratic National Convention), and what he's meant to them (and other Americans).
COURTNEY: He’s with us every day. Every year we have a memorial service, which we call a homecoming. There’s beautiful gospel music. The whole family comes, and all sorts of people who knew him when. Dionne Warwick has come, and Harry Belafonte. It’s always an amazing night.
CORRIE: Our grandfather never really got over the loss of his brother. He doesn’t talk about Uncle Medgar; he talks to him, as though he were still alive: “Medgar, who would have thought the downtown post office would be named after you!” and “Medgar, can you believe it, they named the Jackson airport after you.”
COURTNEY: It’s true. Granddaddy was older than Uncle Medgar, so he viewed himself as the protector. They grew up quite poor, and when it was cold, our granddad used to get into Medgar’s bed for a while before bedtime, and then he’d get out—just to make sure that his little brother had a warm bed to sleep in at night.
CORRIE: Courtney and I were in our house in Oxford. I was upstairs studying and she was downstairs. We both had our TVs on. We heard his speech—and we were screaming back and forth: “Did you see this man?! Who is this man?”I think it's a great story, and I'm glad that CBS will tell the nation about this amazing family.
COURTNEY: He was so moving. All of a sudden, I heard myself saying, out loud, “Obama for president!” All of the commentators after the convention were talking about him like he was some crazy anomaly. To me, he just spoke like the people I’d grown up with. He was intelligent and articulate, and he had this beautiful African American wife—he was like us! People kept saying, “Where did he come from?” Like, “African Americans don’t have these ideas! They don’t go to the best schools!” But when I looked at him, I saw Corrie and me and our brother and our parents. I recognized that hard-work ethic, the valuing of education, the doing-things-the-right-way way. It was like he was talking directly to us.
CORRIE: In our family, we were raised to have a good, solid work ethic. We had a legacy to live up to and family to make proud. We wanted to achieve for ourselves, of course, but we also wanted to do right by our parents and our grandparents and Uncle Medgar, the people who struggled every day to make our lives as easy as they are. I saw the same thing in Obama right away. He came up like us. He valued the same things that we valued. Not just because we’re black, but because we’re American. His story made so much sense to me in that way.
Here's a a couple of other articles that have appeared on the twins, and their Granddaddy Charles Evers.