Darrell Evers, American (1953 - 2001)
Darrell Evers was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi in 1953. Just nine years later, his father was murdered outside their house in Jackson, Mississippi. Byron De La Beckwith was arrested for the murder in 1964, but the case ended in a mistrial, with an all-white jury. After new evidence came to light in the 1990's, De La Beckwith was tried and convicted for the murder. Evers studied painting at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and his work has been admired and collected by distinguished individuals. He and his wife Lauren founded Intellikey Labs, one of the nation's best DVD quality-control agencies. He died of colon cancer in February 2001 at age 47. He is remembered for having overcome personal tragedy, being committed to ending racial injustice, and speaking out against hate crimes like the one committed against his father.
In 1962, Evers was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged segregation the Mississippi school system. Evers also played himself in the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi that documented the tragedy of his father's death and more generally, racism in the South. Evers continued his father's work by becoming the Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP National Board of Directors.