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Fannie Lou Hamer
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Fannie Lou Hamer : the life of a civil rights icon
The couple toiled on a cotton plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi, eventually adopting children. Hamer was unable to have children of her own; while undergoing surgery to remove a tumor, she was given a hysterectomy without her consent. On August 31, , she traveled with 17 others to the county courthouse in Indianola to accomplish this goal. They encountered opposition from local and state law enforcement along the way; only Hamer and one other person were allowed to fill out an application.
Such bravery came at a high price for Hamer. She was fired from her job and driven from the plantation she had called home for nearly two decades—just for registering to vote. But these actions only solidified Hamer's resolve to help other African Americans get the right to vote. It's the best thing that could happen.
Fannie Lou Hamer | American Experience | Official Site | PBS
Now I can work for my people. She spearheaded voter registration drives and relief efforts, but her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement often left her in harm's way; during the course of her activist career, Hamer was threatened, arrested, beaten and shot at.
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Although she lost the Democratic primary, she brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at the convention. Tougaloo President, Beverly Wade Hogan, expressed the importance of recounting civil rights history and engaging future generations. Following her powerful testimony before the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City in , Hamer became one of the most sought-after speakers of the civil rights movement.
She helped change voting laws and spoke for the unrepresented by forming the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party M. After a vicious jailhouse beating years earlier, and the stresses of hypertension and breast cancer, Hamer died in March , at the age of Fannie Lou Hamer authors and scholars, Drs.
Related Fannie Lou Hamer: The Life of a Civil Rights Icon
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