LifestyleJoy-Ann Reid's powerful book reveals untold civil rights history

Joy-Ann Reid’s powerful book reveals untold civil rights history

In an interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s “Let It Be Known” morning show, celebrated journalist, author and talk-show host Joy-Ann Reid delved into the intricacies of her latest book, “Medgar and Myrlie Evers and the Love Story that Awakened America.”

The new book sheds light on the enduring love between civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers (now Evers-Williams) and their profound impact on the civil rights movement.

The conversation revolved around themes of courage and conviction, standing up for justice, and displaying bravery in the face of adversity. Reid, one of the most influential and outspoken voices in all of news, also touched on several issues including the book.

“What inspired me to do this piece was Myrlie Evers-Williams herself,” Reid recalled. “Just meeting her in person for the first time in 2018 and hearing her talk about her late husband had been almost six decades, but she still spoke about him with this incredible and deep love.”

The 352-page book relives Medgar Evers’ central role in pivotal civil rights events, such as the Civil Rights Act and the March on Washington.

“What I learned in doing the research for the book is just how central Medgar Evers was to the whole story, to all the stories that we know more about, to the Civil Rights Act,” she explained.

Regarding the relationship between Medgar and Myrlie, Reid emphasized, “They were an intellectual romance before they were a physical romance.” She highlighted the challenges they faced but underscored the strength of their marriage, stating, “They stuck through it because, in the end, Myrlie Evers admired her husband. She admired his manliness, determination, and love for his people.”

Reid praised individuals like Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri, and the two Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson. “In the face of a lot of cowardice, you do have a lot of really strong, really powerful voices of courage,” Reid asserted.

Regarding South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, Reid criticized his alignment with the twice-impeached and four-times-indicted former President Donald Trump, expressing bewilderment at Scott’s decision to associate with someone who “wants to tear down democracy.” She blasted Scott’s choice to quote Fannie Lou Hamer in support of Trump, calling it “madness.”

“This man had the nerve to quote Fannie Lou Hamer, who I also researched for this book. Fannie Lou Hamer, who quoted ‘First Class Citizenship,’ which was Medgar’s line when she went to the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City and tore it up so much that Lyndon Johnson said, get this woman off the TV because her voice was so powerful as she demanded what Medgar Evers wanted,” Reid stated, tearing into Scott.

“For him to quote that woman, that great Black woman, that icon, and do that in favor of Donald Trump, someone who wants to tear down democracy, who says he would unleash police on Black people and take away any limitations to the violence they could in part upon our bodies, for him to use that, it’s madness to me,” Reid explained. “I see very wealthy hip-hop artists, after Donald Trump is found liable for sexual assault and fined millions for defamation, then they decide, ‘now it’s time to marry my brand to Donald Trump.’ I don’t understand that. I don’t understand anybody Black who, knowing all we now know, those of us who lived in New York, knew who Donald Trump was; we knew what he was.”

Reid also revealed a surprising aspect of her research, emphasizing the close relationship and sisterhood bond among Dr. Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, and Evers-Williams. She described it as “the group chat before we had group chats” and highlighted the joyfulness with which Evers-Williams shared the story of her friends.

As the conversation encapsulated the profound love story of the Evers and its impact on American history, Reid concluded her thoughts with a powerful message: “They had no money. They had no power. What they had was conviction and love, love for each other, love for their people, love for their family, and even love for their state in this country. And that’s all the armor that they needed.”

Source: Washington Informer


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