Lawton_A pioneer of the American civil rights movement spoke at Cameron University Monday.
Myrlie Evers-Williams was the keynote speaker for the university's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
She is the widow of Medgar Evers, who fought for equal rights in Mississippi until he was shot to death at the age of 38 in 1963. Since then, Myrlie has continued that fight for justice and equality for all.
That long journey led her all the way to the stage of President Obama's second inauguration speech. She was selected to give the invocation; the first laywoman to be chosen for that role.
"Seeing the hundreds of thousands of people there and realizing that my voice, my message, hoping and praying that it got across, and that it would resonate not only there, but around the world," she said.
Evers-Williams says it was hard to believe she had come so far, given the sometimes painful road it took to get there. She says she and her three children were devastated after her husband was assassinated.
"Even though many people didn't realize it, I was filled with hatred and I would plot and plan in devious ways. But seemingly, that negativism gave me the strength to keep moving ahead. It hasn't been easy but I am so thankful it's happening to me and all over our country."
She says in her almost eighty years, she seen major changes in regards to civil rights in America, but says, we should never forget our history.
"To see the generations accept things as they are today, which is so much better than fifty years ago, some who don't want to deal with the past, some who are anxious to know about it, there's excitement with working with young people as we trade what was and what could be."
Evers-Williams announced she will be giving the commencement speech at the University of Mississippi this spring. It's the same college that denied her first husband Medgar's entry into law school because he was black.
She said she decided to speak there after the riot on campus last November, after President Obama won his second term.