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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1917 - Death: 1977
Born In: ,
Died In: ,
Achievements: Humanities
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Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper, changed a nation's perspective on democracy. Hamer became involved in the civil rights movement when she volunteered to attempt to register to vote in 1962. By then 45 years old and a mother, Hamer lost her job and continually risked her life because of her civil rights activism. Despite this and a brutal beating, Hamer spoke frequently to raise money for the movement, and helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, to challenge white domination of the Democratic Party. In 1964, the MDFP challenged the all-white Mississippi delegation to the Democratic Convention, and in l968, the Convention seated an integrated challenge delegation from Mississippi. Deeply committed to improving life for poor minorities in her state, Hamer, working with the National Council of Negro Women and others, helped organize food cooperatives and other services. She continued political activities as well, helping to convene the National Women's Political Caucus in the 1970s. She is buried in her home town of Ruleville, Mississippi, where her tombstone reads, "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Additional Sources:

Lee, Chana Kai. For Freedom's Sake: the life of Fannie Lou Hamer. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, c1999. NOTES: ""Women in American History"" series. Includes bibliographical references (p. [227]-224) and index.

Mills, Kay. This Little Light of Mine: the life of Fannie Lou Hamer. New York, New York: Dutton, 1993. NOTES: Includes bibliographical references (p.328-373) and index.

Rubel, David. Fannie Lou Hammer: From Sharecropping to Politics. Silver Burdett Press, 1990.

To Praise Our Bridges: An Autobiography. KIPCO, 1967.

Contested-election case of Fannie Lou Hammer v. Jamie L. Whitten, from the Second Congressional District of Mississippi, Eighty-Ninth Congress. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Print. Office, 1965. NOTES: Record from the Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.

Papers 1966-1978, 16 ft. Amistad Research Center, Tulane University. New Orleans, Louisiana.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago