“None of us would be where we are today had she not been here then.” -Andrew Young (on Fannie Lou Hamer)
Fannie Lou Hamer was a resilient and dedicated civil rights activist. In 1964, Hamer helped to found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, established to expand Black voter registration and to challenge the state’s all-white party. MFDP members fought for rightful seating at the 1964 Democratic National Convention and Fannie Lou’s perseverance brought Mississippi’s civil rights issues to the forefront. She told her story to the convention’s credentials committee about being fired from her job, brutally beaten, and met with death threats – all for trying to register to vote. The story was televised with an outpouring of national support. And although the MFDP’s first bid to win a seat was unsuccessful, four years later in Chicago…
“Hamer received a thunderous standing ovation when she became the first African American to take her rightful seat as an official delegate at a national-party convention since the Reconstruction period after the Civil War, and the first woman ever from Mississippi.” (Sina Dubovoy, Civil Rights Leaders, 1997)
Hear Fanni Lou Hamer’s heartfelt, courageous speech:
Celebrate Black History. Be self-love in action.