Fannie Lou Hamer

The Life of a Civil Rights Icon


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About the Book

This book explores the life of one of Mississippi’s greatest civil rights activists, Fannie Lou Hamer. Known for her daring, her brinkmanship and her impassioned speech-making, Hamer rose to prominence in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, an intrepid group which tried to unseat the predominantly white Democrats of Mississippi during the 1964 Democratic National Convention. She is particularly remembered for her speech before the Credentials Committee, seeking to end all-white representation of her home state. Hamer fought her entire life to expand freedom and basic rights to African Americans in the United States.

About the Author(s)

Earnest N. Bracey is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and is a professor of political science and African American history at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

Bibliographic Details

Earnest N. Bracey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 209
Bibliographic Info: 3 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6030-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8739-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. Birth, Cotton and Childhood      13

2. The Slavery of Sharecropping      19

3. Cry the Beloved Parents      24

4. Death of Her Parents      31

5. Marriage, Eugenics and Adoption      37

6. Apartheid in Mississippi      44

7. The SNCC Comes to Mississippi      53

8. A New Political Activist      61

9. Voting Rights and Freedom Summer      68

10. Enfranchisement and Training      76

11. The Arrest and Beating of Fannie Lou Hamer      82

12. The Rescue and Aftermath      89

13. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party      95

14. Preparing for the 1964 National Democratic Convention      101

15. The Great Orator      107

16. Continuation of a Political Struggle      114

17. Racism, the White Citizens’ Council, and the FBI      121

18. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission and a Trip to Africa      128

19. Speaking Out Loud and the 1968 Democratic Convention      134

20. The End of Activism      140

21. Creation of a Freedom Farm      147

22. The Death of Fannie Lou Hamer      153

Conclusions      159

Epilogue      167

Chapter Notes      173

Bibliography      189

Index      197