Medger Evers and Eudora Welty

Medger EversThinking about the great Medgar Evers, today, fifty years after his brutal assassination. William Walsh reminded me about Eudora Welty‘s “Where Is the Voice Coming From?”, which depicts the murder from the warped perspective of Evers’s  killer. It’s a fascinating portrait, casting light on conflicting narratives about race and class, identity and power. Welty only provides the killer’s viewpoint, but, ironically, through various moves (e.g., naming and putting a face on the victim (here renamed Roland Summers) while leaving the murderer nameless, faceless, not so much a blank, but a cauldron of ignorance and hate), attention is shifted and power is displaced, resulting in greater empathy and sympathy for the victim.

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