By: Lydia Reagan ~Feature Editor~
Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist who lived from 1917- 1977. She was the daughter of sharecroppers, and therefore worked in the fields since she was very young.
In the summer of 1962, she attended a protest meeting where she met civil rights activists who fought for African American suffrage. She worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and helped to found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She even tried to become the Congressional representative of Mississippi, but her bid was unsuccessful.
For her activism, she was threatened, beaten, arrested and shot at. She suffered permanent kidney damage from one beating but never let that stop her from advocating civil rights.
She was instrumental in setting up organizations to increase business opportunities for minorities, as well as childcare and family services. On March 14, 1977, she passed away after a year long battle with breast cancer.
“One day I know the
struggle will change. There’s
got to be a change—not only
for Mississippi, not only
for the people in the United
States, but people all over
– Fannie Lou Hamer