Fannie Lou Hamer was born in 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi. At 12 years old, she had to quit school to work in the fields. After getting married, she found herself working on the same plantation she grew up on.
In 1962 she learned that Black people could vote while at a local civil rights meeting. Upon learning this, she tried to register to vote. She was fired for it. She didn’t let that keep her down, she started helping other people get registered to vote.
The next year, she was arrested for being in a place that refused to serve her. While in jail, she was beaten so badly she would suffer from eye and kidney problems the rest of her life. But this did not keep her down either.
By 1964 she had helped register 64,000 Black voters. She assisted Martin Luther King Jr. and founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative that helped Black farmers in Mississippi.
In 1977, she lost her battle with breast cancer. She was a woman that wouldn’t let anything keep her down. She not only fought for her rights but the rights of all Black Americans.
This video is a great way for your class to hear Fannie Lou Hamer in her own voice. I love the mix of background information and direct quotes and video clips. It is a very well-produced short video.
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