Darrell Kenyatta Evers, son of slain NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams, Chairman-emeritus of the NAACP National Board of Directors, succumbed to colon cancer on Sunday, February 18, 2001. He was 47 years old.
Evers was 9 years old when his father, returning from work to their Jackson, Miss., home, was shot and killed on June 12, 1963. Byron De La Beckwith VI, a fertilizer salesman, was convicted of the murder in 1994 and received a life sentence; he died in January 2001. In the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi, which dramatized the Evers family's efforts to bring Beckwith to justice, Darrell Evers played himself.
Darrell Evers, who was born in Mound Bayou, Miss., on June 30, 1953, was the oldest of the Evers children and was expected by many to follow his parents into civil rights work. In 1962, Darrell Evers was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that resulted in the integration of Mississippi public schools. Evers subsequently turned to art to express his commitment to civil rights. He studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and became an acclaimed painter whose work was collected by Henry Luce II and designer Vidal Sassoon. His paintings, including "Oh My God, They've Moved in Next Door," reflect Evers' use of art as an activist medium.
In the 1990s, Evers and his wife, Lauren, founded Intellikey Labs in Long Beach, Calif. Intellikey became one of the nation's largest DVD quality-control agencies. Evers also volunteered frequently in the Los Angeles Public Schools.
Darrell Evers is survived by his wife; a son, Keanan; his mother, Myrlie Evers-Williams of Bend, Ore.; a sister, Reena Evers-Everette of Los Angeles; and a brother, James Van Dyke Evers of Los Angeles. Messages and memorial contributions can be sent to the Medgar Evers Institute, c/o Myrlie Evers-Williams Associates, 15 South West Colorado, Suite 310, Bend, Oregon, 97702.
Darrell Evers Watercolor "Hummingbird"
February 19, 2001|From Associated Press
BURBANK, Calif. — Darrell Kenyatta Evers, the eldest son of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, died Sunday of colon cancer. He was 47. As the oldest child of the NAACP leader, Evers was expected to become politically active, but he took a different path.
He expressed his views through art, and his avant-garde paintings were collected by the likes of Henry Luce II and hair designer Vidal Sasson. His work reflected on prejudice and on his father's life and death; one painting was titled, "Oh My God, They've Moved in Next Door."
In the 1990s, Evers founded Intellikey Labs in Burbank with his wife, Lauren, creating one of the nation's largest quality-control DVD companies.
Evers' death comes a month after that of his father's killer, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. Although the elder Evers, leader of the NAACP in Mississippi, was murdered on June 12, 1963, De La Beckwith wasn't convicted of the crime until 1994.
In addition to his wife, Evers is survived by his son, Keanan; his sister, Reena Evers-Everette of Los Angeles; his brother, James Van Evers of Los Angeles, and his mother, Myrlie Evers-Williams of Bend, Ore.