Politics and Government - Women
Fannie Lou Hamer
October 6, 1917 to March 14, 1977
Fannie Lou Hamer, voting rights activist and civil rights leader was a major force in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She later became Vice-Chairperson of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and in that capacity attended the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. She was known to be a clear and electrifying speaker who motivated audiences to move forward in their efforts for voting and civil rights.
Inscribed on a stone memorial in the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden are the words:
Fannie Lou Hamer
Voting and Civil Rights Pioneer
1962 Joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and became a Field Secretary.
1963 Severely beaten while in Winona, Mississippi when she and other civil rights workers were returning from
an SKEG Citizen's Training Conference. Became one of the first Black persons to register to vote in
Sunflower County. Ran for congress in the Second Congressional District.
1964 A founding member Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDC) and led the MFDC challenge before
the National Democratic Party Credentials Committee in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1968 Founder of the Freedom Farms Corporation (FFC).
1970 Founder of the Fannie Lou Hamer Day Car Center.
1971 Became a member of the Policy Counsel.
1974 She was named the board of Trustees of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
On the base of the stone monument is a quote from Ms. Hamer:
I guess if I'd had any sense I'd had been scared but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me. And it seemed they'd been trying to do that a little at a time since I could remember.
Top L: Fannie Lou Hamer, courtesy of the Library of Congress. LC-DIG-ppmsc-01267. R: Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden.
Bottom L: Grave of Fannie Lou Hamer. R: Grave of Perry "Pap" Hamer, Fannie Lou Hamer's husband.
Photos taken December 20, 2008. Black and white Public Domain.
Appiah, Kwame, Anthony and Gates, Henry Louis, ed. "Africana The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience." 1st ed. New York: Civitas, 1999. Print.
Finkelman, Paul, ed. "The Encyclopedia of African American History Vol 2." New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Fannie Lou Hamer gravesite. Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville, MS. 20 Dec. 2008.
Fannie Lou Hamer gravesite. Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville, MS. 9 Oct. 2013.
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Fannie Lou Hamer Drive, Ruleville, Mississippi 38771
Posted to website: December 23, 2008.
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