Fanny Lou Hamer

Fanny Lou Hamer



Fanny Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist, civil rights leader, and philanthropist. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi’s Freedom Summer in 1964, and was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Hamer was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi, to sharecropping parents. Despite facing extreme poverty, she received an education and became a teacher. As a young adult, she became involved in the civil rights movement, and was a strong advocate for voter registration, equal rights, and education.

Hamer’s involvement in the civil rights movement began in 1962, when she joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was a leader of the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, which saw hundreds of civil rights activists travel to Mississippi to register African American voters. Her efforts were met with extreme violence and intimidation, and she was arrested and beaten. Despite these obstacles, Hamer continued to fight for African American rights, and she was a major speaker at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

In 1965, Hamer founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). The MFDP was an alternative political organization to the state’s all-white Democratic Party, and it ran its own candidate for the United States Senate. The MFDP presented a challenge to the all-white Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, and Hamer spoke on behalf of the organization. Although the MFDP failed to win the Mississippi delegation’s seat at the convention, it was a major achievement for civil rights activists, and it signaled a shift in the nation’s attitude towards civil rights.

Throughout her life, Hamer was an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. She worked to improve the lives of African Americans in her home state, and in 1966 she founded the Freedom Farms Corporation. The Freedom Farms Corporation was a collective that allowed African American farmers to own and operate their own land. Hamer also worked to improve education for African Americans, and in 1972 she founded the Freedom Education Foundation, which provided educational scholarships for African Americans.

Fanny Lou Hamer was a major force in the civil rights movement, and she was instrumental in advancing the cause of African American rights. She was a powerful speaker, and her courage and dedication to civil rights was an inspiration to many. Although she died in 1977, her legacy lives on in the work of civil rights activists across the country. Her story is a

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