Joy Reid's #1 New York Times Best Seller: Medgar and Myrlie

No items found.
Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed
March 21, 2024

Photo: Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Host and author of Medgar and Myrlie. Photo by Luke Harold

MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid has created a triumphant work of biography that repositions slain Civil Rights pioneer Medgar Evers at the heart of America’s struggle for freedom and celebrates Myrlie Evers’s extraordinary activism after her husband’s assassination in the driveway of their Mississippi home.

“Medgar Evers deserves a place alongside Malcolm X and Dr. King in our historical memory. Evers, with Myrlie as his partner in activism and in life, was doing civil rights work in the single most hostile and dangerous environment in America.” — from Medgar and Myrlie

“I love this book. The empathic, brilliant, and wise Joy Reid has brought us the poignant, fascinating inside story of Medgar and Myrlie Evers, transformational leaders who confronted pure evil and risked their lives to ensure that all American children might grow up in a United States that was more just. As Reid shows us, that painful task is now more urgent than ever.” — Michael Beschloss

Myrlie Louise Beasley met Medgar Evers on her first day of college. They fell in love at first sight, married just one year later, and Myrlie left school to focus on their growing family.

Medgar became the field secretary for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP, charged with beating back the most intractable and violent resistance to black voting rights in the country. Myrlie served as Medgar’s secretary and confidant, working hand in hand with him as they struggled against public accommodations and school segregation, lynching, violence, and sheer despair within their state’s “black belt.” They fought to desegregate the intractable University of Mississippi, organized picket lines and boycotts, despite repeated terroristic threats, including the 1962 firebombing of their home, where they lived with their three young children.

On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers became the highest profile victim of Klan-related assassination of a black civil rights leader at that time; gunned down in the couple’s driveway in Jackson. In the wake of his tragic death, Myrlie carried on their civil rights legacy; writing a book about Medgar’s fight, trying to win a congressional seat, and becoming a leader of the NAACP in her own right.

In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie’s relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.

Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed, founder of Khafre, Inc.


It’s truly an honor to have contributed to Joy Reid’s bestselling work, particularly in highlighting the profound significance of the Mississippi Delta and its pivotal role in shaping the American narrative. As we travelled through the Delta together, exploring its cities and towns, I’m thrilled to see echoes of our shared experiences reflected in the pages dedicated to “The Medgar and Myrlie Love Story That Awakened America.”

On page 26, Joy’s inclusion of my words underscores the importance of recognizing the Delta’s rich soil, akin to that found in Africa, which facilitated the cultivation of cotton and contributed to the immense wealth of the region’s planters. By acknowledging this historical truth, Joy lends credence to the invaluable research conducted by Khafre, Inc., a Mississippi Delta-based nonprofit organization committed to commemorating the contributions of cottonpickers. Under Khafre’s guidance, monuments and historical sites honoring Cottonpickers are being planned not only in the Delta but also in Manchester ,England, and Segou, Mali. This international movement, spearheaded by Khafre Inc., seeks to unite Cottonpickers worldwide in solidarity and recognition of their significant contributions.

I’m particularly moved by Joy’s depiction of our journey together in the Delta on pages 302-303, where she beautifully captures the essence of our exploration. Her description of me as “the fabulous Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed” and her recognition of my role in shedding light on Mississippi’s ‘cotton kingdom’ and the remarkable work of sculptor Ed Dwight fills me with gratitude.

As the Executive Director of Khafre, Inc., I am deeply committed to advancing the cause of honoring cotton pickers and their legacy. For those interested in joining our movement, I encourage you to reach out to Khafre, Inc. through our website at Together, let us continue to celebrate and preserve the rich heritage of the Mississippi Delta and its resilient communities!