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Fannie Lou Hamer

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Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer 1964-08-22.jpg
Hamer in 1964
Born Fannie Lou Townsend
(1917-10-06)October 6, 1917
Montgomery County, Mississippi
Died March 14, 1977(1977-03-14) (aged 59)
Mound Bayou, Mississippi
Burial place Ruleville, Mississippi
Organization National Women's Political Caucus
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
National Council of Negro Women
Known for Civil rights leader
Title Vice-chairwoman of Freedom Democratic Party; Co-founder of National Women's Political Caucus
Political party Freedom Democratic Party
Movement African-American civil rights movement (1954–1968), Women's rights
Spouse(s) Perry "Pap" Hamer
Children 2
Awards Inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame

Fannie Lou Hamer (/ˈhmər/; née Townsend; October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting and women's rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the African-American civil rights movement. She was the co-founder and vice-chair of the Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Hamer also organized Mississippi's Freedom Summer along with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was also a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, an organization created to recruit, train, and support women of all races who wish to seek election to government office.

Hamer began civil rights activism in 1962, continuing until her health declined nine years later. She was known for her use of spiritual hymnals and quotes and her resilience in leading the civil right's movement for African-American women in Mississippi. She was extorted, threatened, harassed, shot at, and even brutally assaulted by white supremacists and police while trying to register for and exercise her right to vote. She later helped and encouraged thousands of African-Americans in Mississippi to become registered voters, and helped hundreds of disenfranchised people in her local area through her work in programs like the Freedom Farm Cooperative. She unsuccessfully ran for Mississippi senator in 1964 and the Mississippi State Senate in 1971. In 1970 she led legal action against the government of Sunflower County, Mississippi for continued illegal segregation.

Hamer died on March 14, 1977, aged 59 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Her memorial service was widely attended and her eulogy was delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young. She was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

Early life, family, and education

Fannie Lou Townsend was born on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi, the last of the 20 children of Ella and James Lee Townsend.[1] Some of their animal stock was mysteriously poisoned, Hamer suspected a local white supremacist had caused the deaths of their livestock and said of this incident: "... our stock got poisoned. We knowed [sic] this white man had done it .... That white man did it just because we, were gettin’ somewhere. White people never like to see Negroes get a little success. All of this stuff is no secret in the state of Mississippi."[2] Thereafter she and her husband moved to Sunflower County in 1919 to work as sharecroppers on W. D. Marlow's plantation.[3] From age six she picked cotton with her family. During the winters of 1924 through 1930 she attended the plantation's one-room school provided for the sharecroppers' children, open between picking seasons. She loved reading and excelled in spelling bees and reciting poetry, but at 12 she had to leave school to help support her aging parents.[4][5][2] By age 13, she could pick 200-300 pounds (90 to 140 kg) of cotton daily, despite having a disfigured leg as a result of polio.[6][7][8]

Fannie continued to develop her reading and interpretation skills in Bible study at her church;[4] in later years Lawrence Guyot admired her ability to connect "the biblical exhortations for liberation and [the struggle for civil rights] any time that she wanted to and move in and out to any frames of reference."[9] In 1944, after the plantation owner discovered that she was literate, she was selected as its time and record keeper.[10] The following year she married Perry "Pap" Hamer, a tractor driver on the Marlow plantation, and they remained there for the next 18 years.[3]

We had a little money so we took care of her and raised her. She was sickly too when I got her, suffered from malnutrition. Then she got run over by a car and her leg was broken. So she’s only in fourth grade now. —- Fannie Lou Hamer[2]

The Hamers later raised two girls, whom they decided to adopt.[1] One died of internal hemorrhaging after she was denied admission to the local hospital on account of her mother's activism.[2][11]

Hamer became interested in the African-American civil rights movement, in the 1950s.[12] She heard leaders in the local movement speak at annual Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL) conferences, held in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.[12] The annual conferences discussed black voting rights and among other civil rights issues faced by black communities in the area.[10]

Civil rights activism

White supremacy attacks

In 1962, Hamer first learned about the constitutional right to vote from volunteers at the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who had visited her in Mound Bayou. She began to take direct political action in the civil rights movement. On August 31, she traveled to Indianola, Mississippi, to unsuccessfully attempt to register to vote with other activists by taking the state's racially targeted literacy test.[13][12] When she returned to the plantation that night, she was immediately fired by Marlow, who had warned her against trying to register. Her husband was required to stay on Marlow's land until the end of the harvest.[14][1][15] Hamer moved between homes over the next several days for protection. On September 10, while staying with friend Mary Tucker, Hamer was shot at 16 times in a drive-by shooting by white supremacists.[10][16][17] No one was injured in the event.[7] The next day, Hamer and her family evacuated to nearby Tallahatchie County,[2] for fear of retaliation by the Ku Klux Klan over her attempt to vote. They remained there nearly three months.[18][12][19] On December 4, just after returning to her hometown, she went to the courthouse in Indianola to take the literacy test again, but failed and was turned away.[10] Hamer told the registrar that "You'll see me every 30 days till I pass".[2]

I guess if I'd had any sense, I'd have been a little scared — but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it kinda seemed like they'd been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember. — Fannie Lou Hamer[20]

Registering to vote

On January 10, 1963, Hamer took the literacy test a third time.[10] She was successful and was informed that she was now a registered voter in the State of Mississippi. However, when she attempted to vote that fall, she discovered her registration gave her no actual power to vote as the county required voters to have two poll tax receipts.[2] This requirement had emerged in some (mostly former confederate) states after the right to vote was first given to all races by the 1870 ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[21][22] These laws along with the literacy tests and local government acts of coercion, were used against blacks and Native Americans.[23][24] Hamer later paid for and acquired the requisite poll tax receipts.[2]

We been waitin’ all our lives, and still gettin’ killed, still gettin’ hung, still gettin’ beat to death. Now we’re tired waitin’! [sic] — Fannie Lou Hamer[2]

Hamer had begun to become more involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee after these incidents.[2] She attended many Southern Christian Leadership Conferences (SCLC), which she at times taught classes for, and also various SNCC workshops. She traveled to gather signatures for petitions to attempt to be granted federal resources for impoverished black families across the south. She also became a field secretary for voter registration and welfare programs for the SNCC. Although many of these first actions to attempt to register more black voters in Mississippi were met with many of the same problems Hamer had in trying to register herself.[25]

Police brutality

After becoming a field secretary for the SNCC in 1963, Hamer decided to attend a pro-citizenship conference by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Charleston, South Carolina.[1] Travelling in a transit home with co-activists, the party stopped for a break in Winona, Mississippi.[2] Some of the activists went inside a local cafe, but were refused service by the waitress. Shortly after, a Mississippi State highway patrolman took out his billy club and intimidated the activists to leave. One of the group decided to take down the officer's license plate number; while doing so the patrolman and a police chief entered the cafe and arrested the party. Hamer left the bus and inquired if they could continue their journey back to Greenwood, Mississippi.[1] At that point the officers arrested her as well.[2][14] Once in county jail, Hamer's colleagues were beaten by the police in the booking room (including 15 year old June Johnson, for not saying "sir" in her replies to the officers).[13][26] Hamer was then taken to a cell where two inmates were ordered, by the state trooper, to beat her using a blackjack.[2] The police ensured she was held down during the almost fatal beating, and when she started to scream, beat her further. Another in her group was beaten until she was unable to talk; a third, a teenager, was beaten, stomped on, and stripped.[27] An activist from the SNCC came the next day to see if they could help, but was beaten until his eyes were shut when he did not address an officer in the expected deferential manner.[7][28]

Hamer was released on June 12, 1963. She needed more than a month to recuperate from the beatings and never fully recovered.[25] Though the incident had profound physical and psychological effects, including a blood clot over her left eye and permanent damage on one of her kidneys,[29] she returned to Mississippi to organize voter registration drives, including the "Freedom Ballot Campaign", a mock election, in 1963, and the "Freedom Summer" initiative the following year. She was known to the volunteers of Freedom Summer — most of whom were young, white, and from northern states — as a motherly figure who believed that the civil rights effort should be multi-racial in nature. In addition to her "Northern" guests, Hamer played host to Tuskegee University student activists Sammy Younge Jr. and Wendell Paris.[30] Younge and Paris grew to become profound activists and organizers under Hamer's tutelage.[30] (Younge was murdered in 1966 at a Standard Oil gas station in Macon County, Alabama, for using a "whites-only" restroom.)[31]

Freedom Democratic Party and Congressional run

In 1964, Hamer helped co-found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), in an effort to prevent the regional all-white Democratic party's attempts to stifle African-American voices, and to ensure there was a party for all people that did not stand for any form of exploitation and discrimination (especially towards minorities).[32][2] Following the founding of the MFDP, Hamer and other activists traveled to the 1964 Democratic National Convention to stand as the official delegation from the state of Mississippi.[32] When it was Hamer's turn to speak, President Lyndon B. Johnson ensured that she received no air time by simultaneously holding an arbitrary press conference.[32]

"All of this is on account we want to register, to become first-class citizens, and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives are threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings in America?." — Fannie Lou Hamer[1]

Senator Hubert Humphrey tried to propose a compromise on behalf of the President that would give the Freedom Democratic Party two seats.[33] He stated this would lead to a reformed convention in 1968.[1] The MFDP rejected the compromise, with Hamer saying, "We didn't come all the way up here to compromise for no more than we’d gotten here. We didn't come all this way for no two seats when all of us is tired."[34][33] Afterwards, all of the white members from the Mississippi delegation walked out.[1]

In 1968 the MFDP was finally seated, after the Democratic Party adopted a clause which demanded equality of representation from their states' delegations.[35] In 1972, Hamer was elected as a national party delegate.[33]

Freedom Farm Cooperative and later activism

In 1964, Hamer unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate.[1] She continued to work on other projects, including grassroots-level Head Start programs and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign. With the help of Julius Lester and Mary Varela, she published her autobiography in 1967.[36] She said she was "tired of all this beating" and "there's so much hate. Only God has kept the Negro sane".[2]

Hamer sought equality across all aspects of society.[37] In Hamer's view, African-Americans were not technically free if they were not afforded the same opportunities as whites, including those in the agricultural industry. Sharecropping was the most common form of post-slavery activity and income in the South.[38] The New Deal era expanded so that many blacks were physically and economically displaced due to the various projects appearing around the country. Hamer did not wish to have blacks be dependent on any group for any longer; so, she wanted to give them a voice through an agricultural movement.[39]

James Eastland, a white senator, was among the groups of people who sought to keep African-Americans disenfranchised and segregated from society.[40] His influence on the overarching agricultural industry often suppressed minority groups to keep whites as the only power force in America.[39] Hamer objected to this, and consequently pioneered the Freedom Farm Cooperative (FFC) in 1969, an attempt to redistribute economic power across groups and to solidify an economic standing amongst African-Americans.[37] In the same vein as the Freedom Farm Collective, Hamer partnered with the NCNW to establish an interracial and interregional support program called The Pig Project to provide protein for people who previously could not afford meat.[41]

Hamer made it her mission to make land more accessible to African-Americans.[37] To do this, she started a small "pig bank" with a starting donation from the National Council of Negro Women of five boars and fifty gilts.[42] Through the pig bank, a family could care for a pregnant female pig until it bore its offspring; subsequently, they would raise the piglets and use them for food and financial gain.[42][37] Within five years, thousands of pigs were available for breeding.[42] Hamer used the success of the bank to begin fundraising for the main farming corporation.[42][37] She was able to convince the then-editor of the Harvard Crimson, James Fallows, to write an article that advocated for donations to the FFC.[39] Eventually, the FFC had raised around $8,000 which allowed Hamer to purchase 40 acres of land previously owned by a black farmer who could no longer afford to occupy the land.[43] This land became the Freedom Farm.[43] The farm had three main objectives.[37] These were to establish an agricultural organization that could supplement the nutritional needs of America's most disenfranchised people; to provide acceptable housing development; and to create an entrepreneurial business incubator that would provide resources for new companies and re-training for those with limited education but manual labor experience.[44]

Over time, the FFC offered various other services such as financial counseling, a scholarship fund and a housing agency.[42] The FFC aided in securing 35 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) subsidized houses for struggling black families.[43] Through her success, Hamer managed to acquire a new home, which served as inspiration for others to begin building themselves up.[37] The FFC ultimately disbanded in 1975 due to lack of funding.[44]

In 1971 Hamer co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus. She emphasized the power women could hold by acting as a voting majority in the country regardless of race or ethnicity, saying "A white mother is no different from a black mother. The only thing is they haven’t had as many problems. But we cry the same tears."[1]

Later life and death

While having surgery in 1961 to remove a tumor, 47-year-old Hamer was also given a hysterectomy without consent by a white doctor; this was part of the state of Mississippi's compulsory sterilization plan to reduce the number of poor blacks in the state.[45][46] Hamer is credited with coining the phrase "Mississippi appendectomy" as a euphemism for the involuntary or uninformed sterilization of black women, common in the South in the 1960s.[47] She came out of an extended period in hospital for nervous exhaustion in January 1972, and was hospitalized again in January 1974 for a nervous breakdown. By June of 1974, Hamer was said to be in extremely poor health.[1] Two years later she was diagnosed with and had surgery for breast cancer.[1]

Hamer died of complications of hypertension and breast cancer on March 14, 1977, aged 59, at Taborian Hospital, Mound Bayou, Mississippi.[48] She was buried in her hometown of Ruleville, Mississippi. Her tombstone is engraved with one of her famous quotes, "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."[49]

Her primary memorial service, held at a church, was completely full. An overflow service was held at Ruleville Central High School,[50] with over 1,500 people in attendance. Andrew Young, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke at the RCHS service, saying "None of us would be where we are now had she not been there then".[51]

Honors and awards

A sign honoring Fannie Lou Hamer for her work in Ruleville, Mississippi.

Hamer received many awards both in her lifetime and posthumously. She received a Doctor of Law from Shaw University,[52] and honorary degrees from Columbia College Chicago in 1970[53] and Howard University in 1972.[54] She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.[1]

Hamer also received the Paul Robeson Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,[55] the Mary Church Terrell Award and Honorary lifetime member from Delta Sigma Theta, the National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award.[56] A remembrance for her life was given in the US House of Representatives on the 100th anniversary of her birth, October 6, 2017, by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.[12]


Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville, Mississippi

In 1970 Ruleville Central High School held a "Fannie Lou Hamer Day". Six years later, the City of Ruleville itself celebrated a "Fannie Lou Hamer Day".[11][57] In 1977 Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson wrote "95 South (All of the Places We've Been)", in Hamer's honor. Ta-Nehisi Coates described a 1994 live solo version of the song as "a haunting and somber ode."[58]

In 1994 the Ruleville post office was named the Fannie Lou Hamer Post Office by an act of Congress.[59] Additionally, The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy was founded in 1997 as a summer seminar and K-12 workshop program.[60] In 2014 it was merged with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) Civil Rights Education Complex on the campus of Jackson State University, Jackson, to create the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO: A Human and Civil Rights Interdisciplinary Education Center. The Hamer Institute @ COFO provides a research library and outreach programs.[60] There is also a Fannie Lou Hamer Public Library in Jackson.[61]

A 2012 collection of suites by trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith, who grew up in segregated Mississippi, Ten Freedom Summers includes "Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, 1964" as one of its 19 suites.[62] A picture book about Hamer's life, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, was written by Carole Boston Weatherford; it won a Coretta Scott King Award.[63] Hamer is also one of 28 civil rights icons depicted on the Buffalo, New York Freedom Wall.[64] And a quote from Hamer's speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention is carved on one of the eleven granite columns at the Civil Rights Garden in Atlantic City, where the convention was held.[65]


  • Fannie Lou Hamer, Julius Lester, and Mary Varela, Praise Our Bridges: An Autobiography, 1967[36]
  • Hamer, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Songs My Mother Taught Me (album), 2015[66]
  • Hamer (2011). The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell it Like it is. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781604738230. Cf.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mills, Kay (April 2007). "Fannie Lou Hamer: Civil Rights Activist". Mississippi History Now. Mississippi Historical Society. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o DeMuth, Jerry (April 2, 2009). "Fannie Lou Hamer: Tired of Being Sick and Tired". The Nation. 
  3. ^ a b Badger 2002, p. 69.
  4. ^ a b Lee 1999, pp. 5-7.
  5. ^ An Oral History with Fannie Lou Hamer (Transcript). April 14, 1972. Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, University of Southern Mississippi.
  6. ^ Mills 1997, p. 225.
  7. ^ a b c Zinn, Howard. ""Mississippi 11: Greenwood" from SNCC the New Abolitionists". p. 9. 
  8. ^ Marsh 1997, p. 19.
  9. ^ Chappell 2004, p. 312.
  10. ^ a b c d e Fannie Lou Hamer: Papers of a Civil Rights Activistist (sic), Political Activist, and Woman (PDF), Amistad Research Center, November 29, 2017, retrieved January 30, 2018 – via . From the Fannie Lou Hamer Papers, 1966–1978
  11. ^ a b "Smith, Margaret Chase". History, Art & Archives. US House of Representatives. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Jackson Lee, Sheila (October 6, 2017). "Remembering Fannie Lou Hamer, Courageous and Tireless Fighter for Voting Rights and Social Justice Who Spike Truth to Power and Touched the Conscience of the Nation". Congressional Record. 
  13. ^ a b Hamer, Fannie Lou (August 22, 1964). "Testimony Before the Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention". American Public Media. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Michals, Debra (2017). "Fannie Lou Hamer". Chicago: National Women’s History Museum. 
  15. ^ Badger, p. 70
  16. ^ Gierah, Davis (1950). "caption information for image of Fannie Lou Hamer with others". Tuskegee University Archives. Retrieved January 30, 2018. 
  17. ^ Beito & Beito 2009, pp. 199-200.
  18. ^ Carawan, Guy (1965). "The Story of Greenwood, Mississippi". p. 4. 
  19. ^ Marsh 1997, p. 15-18.
  20. ^ Burns 2012, p. 636.
  21. ^ United States Commission on Civil Rights 1965, p. 4.
  22. ^ Franklin, Ben A. (24 January 1964). "Impact of Poll Tax Has Waned in Last 40 Years". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-13. 
  23. ^ "Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement – Literacy Tests". Tougaloo College. Retrieved January 31, 2018. 
  24. ^ United States Commission on Civil Rights 1965, p. 18.
  25. ^ a b "VOD Journal-Volume 6 (2011) – Voices of Democracy". Voices of Democracy. February 11, 2012. 
  26. ^ Joiner, Lottie (September 2, 2014). "Remembering Civil Rights Heroine Fannie Lou Hamer: 'I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  27. ^ Marsh 1997, p. 21.
  28. ^ Fierce, Tasha (February 26, 2015). "Black Women Are Beaten, Sexually Assaulted and Killed By Police. Why Don't We Talk About It?". AlterNet. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  29. ^ Marsh 1997, p. 22.
  30. ^ a b "Fannie Lou Hamer, champion of voting rights: View". USA Today Network. 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2018-02-13. 
  31. ^ Chandler, D. L. (January 3, 2014). "Sammy Younge Killed For Using Whites-Only Bathroom On This Day In 1966". News One. Retrieved March 7, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b c Michals, Debra (2017). "Fannie Lou Hamer". National Women's History Museum. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  33. ^ a b c Lemongello, Steven (August 24, 2014). "Black Mississippians create legacy". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  34. ^ Dittmer 1993, p. 20.
  35. ^ Draper, Alan (August 26, 2014). "Fannie Lou Hamer, and the still-endangered right to vote". The Indianapolis Star. Gannett. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b Hamer, Fanny Lou (1967). To Praise Our Bridges. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g "Fannie Lou Hamer founds Freedom Farm Cooperative — SNCC Digital Gateway". SNCC Digital Gateway. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  38. ^ Davis 2013, p. 94.
  39. ^ a b c Asch, Chris Myers (2008). The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer. University of North Carolina Press. p. 198-220. 
  40. ^ "James Eastland". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  41. ^ Brooks, Maegan Parker (2014). A Voice that could stir an army: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Rhetoric of the Black Freedom Movement. United States of America: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-62846-004-9. 
  42. ^ a b c d e White, Monica M. “A pig and a garden”: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Farms Cooperative (Thesis). doi:10.1080/07409710.2017.1270647. 
  43. ^ a b c M., White, Monica. ""A pig and a garden": Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Farms Cooperative". Food and Foodways. 
  44. ^ a b White, Monica M. (January 2, 2017). ""A pig and a garden": Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Farms Cooperative". Food and Foodways. pp. 20–39. doi:10.1080/07409710.2017.1270647. 
  45. ^ "Fannie Lou Hamer Biography". Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  46. ^ Nelson 2003, pp. 68-69.
  47. ^ Jones & Eubanks 2014, p. 259.
  48. ^ Johnson, Thomas A. (March 15, 1977). "Fannie Lou Hamer Dies. Left Farm To Lead Struggle for Civil Rights". The New York Times. 
  49. ^ Barber, Rebekah; Barber, Sharrelle (October 6, 2016). "'Sick and tired of being sick and tired': making the connection between disenfranchisement and disease". Facing South: A Voice for a Changing South. 
  50. ^ Mills 1997, p. 226.
  51. ^ Nash & Taggart 2007, p. 85.
  52. ^ "Hamer, Fannie Lou (1917–1977)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. 2002. 
  53. ^ "Honorary Degrees Issued" Archived October 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Library of Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois.
  54. ^ Hamer 2011, p. 145.
  55. ^ Wilson, Charles Reagan (February 1, 2014). The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 3: History. University of North Carolina Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-1-4696-1655-1. Retrieved January 7, 2018. 
  56. ^ Badger 2002, pp. 79-80.
  57. ^ Donovan 2003, p. 62.
  58. ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi (July 9, 2011). "Opinion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 
  59. ^ "H.R. 4452 (103rd): To designate the Post Office building at 115 West Chester in Ruleville, Mississippi, as the 'Fannie Lou Hamer United States Post Office'." Retrieved January 29, 2018. 
  60. ^ a b "Comprehensive Overview of the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO". Jackson State University. Retrieved January 29, 2018. 
  61. ^ "Fannie Lou Hamer Library Calendar". Jackson Hinds Library System. Retrieved October 12, 2017. Welcome to the Fannie Lou Hamer Library. Our library branch, which is named for Mississippi Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, is located inside the Golden Key Senior Center. 
  62. ^ Spicer, Daniel (2012). "Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers review". BBC. 
  63. ^ "Coretta Scott King Book Awards — All Recipients, 1970–Present". American Library Association website. 
  64. ^ "The Freedom Wall". Albright-Knox Art Gallery. 
  65. ^ Hetrick, Christian (February 21, 2016). "Civil Rights Garden 'a little-known secret' in A.C." Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved January 29, 2018. 
  66. ^ "Sneak Preview: Songs My Mother Taught Me by Fannie Lou Hamer". Smithsonian Folkways website. 


  • Asch, Chris Myers (2008). The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer. New York and Chapel Hill: The New Press and University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-59558-332-1. 
  • Badger, Anthony (2002). The Role of Ideas in the Civil Rights South. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-604-73690-9. 
  • Beito, David T.; Beito, Linda Royster (2009). Black Maverick: T. R. M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03420-6. 
  • Burns, James MacGregor (April 10, 2012). "Chapter 8: Striding Toward Freedom". The Crosswinds of Freedom: 1932–1988. Open Road Media. ISBN 978-1-4532-4520-0. Retrieved January 7, 2018. 
  • Chappell, David L. (2004). A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-2819-9. Retrieved January 28, 2018. 
  • Davis, David A (2013). Monteith, Sharon, ed. Southern Modernists and Modernity. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South. University of Cambridge Press. ISBN 978-1-107-036789. 
  • Dittmer, John (1993). Dittmer, Wright, George C., Dulaney, W. Marvin, ed. Mississippi Movement. Essays on the American Civil Rights Movement. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-0-89096-540-5. 
  • Donovan, Sandy (2003). Fannie Lou Hamer. Heinemann-Raintree Library. ISBN 978-1-107-61085-9. 
  • Hamer, Fannie Lou; Lester, Julius; Varela, Mary (1967). Praise Our Bridges: An Autobiography. 
  • Hamer, Fannie Lou (2011). The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell it Like it is. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-604-73823-0. 
  • Jones, Alethia; Eubanks, Virginia, eds. (2014). Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. SUNY Press. ISBN 1-438-45115-6. 
  • Lee, Chana Kai (1999). For Freedom's Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. Athens: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-252-06936-6. 
  • Marsh, Charles (1997). God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02134-1. 
  • Mills, Kay (1997). Barnwell, Marion, ed. A Place Called Mississippi: Collected Narratives. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-617-03339-1. 
  • Nash, Jere; Taggart, Andy (2007). Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976–2008. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-604-73357-0. 
  • Nelson, Jennifer (2003). Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement. New York: NYU Press. ISBN 0-8147-5827-4. 
  • United States Commission on Civil Rights (1965). Voting in Mississippi (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States government. 

Further reading

  • Colman, Penny (1993). Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for the Vote. The Millbrook Press
  • Kling, Susan (1979). Fannie Lou Hamer: A Biography. Chicago, IL: Women for Racial and Economic Equality.
External video
Booknotes interview with Kay Mills on This Little Light of Mine, February 28, 1993, C-SPAN

External links

  • SNCC Digital Gateway: Fannie Lou Hamer, Documentary website created by the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University, telling the story of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee & grassroots organizing from the inside-out
  • National Women's Hall of Fame and National Women’s History Museum entries
  • "Fannie Lou Hamer", Ron Schuler's Parlour Tricks, October 6, 2005.
  • Fannie Lou Hamer Collection (MUM00215) owned by the University of Mississippi, Archives and Special Collections.
  • FBI file on Fannie Lou Hamer.
  • Jerry DeMuth, "Fannie Lou Hamer: Tired of Being Sick and Tired", The Nation, April 2, 2009.
  • Transcripts of eight important speeches made in the 1960s, including her testimony before the DNC credentialing committee. Published by The Fannie Lou Hamer [email protected], Jackson State University as an online educational supplement to A Voice That Could Stir an Army: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Rhetoric of the Black Freedom Movement (2014), by Hamer scholar Maegan Parker Brooks.
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