Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Friday, February 5, 2010

Black History Month - Medgar Evers

1994 – The verdict was given in the case of the 1963 assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers: Klansman convicted.

Medgar Evers, Black American civil rights activist, was murdered by a Klansman in 1963. On Februarr 5, thirty-one years later, the Klansman was convicted of Evers’ murder.

Evers was born in Mississippi, and was determined to get an education. After a family friend was lynched, he walked 12 miles to and from school till he graduated from high school. He fought in Europe during World War II, and received his first degree after the war ended. When the University of Mississippi rejected his application to study law, he filed a lawsuit against the university. He ultimately succeeded in desegregating the university.

In the weeks before his murder, his activism made him prominent and therefore vulnerable. He was entering his driveway when he was shot in 1963. A Klansman was at the time arrested for the murder, but all-white juries failed to reach a verdict. Thirty years later, the Klansman was brought to trial again, and he was convicted of murder.

Today, the life and legacy of Medgar Evers continue to be celebrated.

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When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it. (Proverb from Rwanda and Burundi)

Welcome to this space where we can talk about proverbs that we can relate to (or not), and proverbs that make sense to us (or not). Most of all we can discuss how proverbs make us think about life and living. We can also share experiences of proverbs that have provided us with lifelines or just the chance to reflect.

Some of the proverbs here may also be found in "Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs", published by Random House and authored by Askhari Johnson Hodari and me. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One of the unique features of our book is that we arranged the proverbs according to life cycle, in sections including, Birth, Childhood, Love, Marriage, and Intimacy, Challenge, and Death.

For more proverbs and for information on Lifelines: the Black Book of Proverbs, please visit us at