Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer had a deep, powerful voice. One that would “shake the air,” one that had the painful integrity of someone who suffered.

Her fight was for civil rights. A fight that she joined in her late 30s when she was part of a community called on to go vote. Blacks then faced harassment, loss of their jobs, beatings, and lynchings for trying to vote. She was the first to volunteer.

“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 became a leader in the movement. She was known as “the lady who sings the hymns,” because she would sing during marches to soothe tensions and bring calm to those who were scared.

Her voice, her strength made a difference. She was core to driving change. In 1993, years after she passed away in 1977, she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. One of many awards that she received for her efforts.

Sources: http://www.howard.edu/library/reference/guides/hamer/ & http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/sayitplain/flhamer.html