Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by Ankhur, Jan 26, 2010.
Fannie Lou Townsend was born October 6, 1917 in the Mississippi Delta on a plantation where sharecropping was the norm. She was tricked into picking cotton at the age of six in exchange for a few items from the "Boss Man's" Store. By the time she reached age ten, Fannie was picking as much cotton as some adults. She earned the position of Timekeeper. To help calm her people down after a lynching, shooting or KKK riot, Mrs. Hamer would sing like “ain't no tomorrow”. Fannie Lou married Perry “Pap” Hamer in 1942.
In 1962, Mrs. Hamer decided she wanted to try to register to vote
after attending a SNCC voter registration meeting at William Chapel Church in
Ruleville, MS pastored by the late Rev. J. D. Story. It would turn out to be just another way of asking to die.
After returning home, Mrs. Hamer was ordered to go and take her name off the registrar’s book. If she refused to do so, she would have to move. Refuse she did and move she did.
I didn't go register for you sir, I did it for myself”, replied Fannie Lou to her boss. Mr. W. D. Marlowe. She was kicked off the plantation where she had lived for the past eighteen years.
Sixteen shots were fired into The Tuckers home over the bed Mrs.
Hamer slept where she had fled for safety. “God had already told me
to move on, so I wasn’t there that night,” Fannie said.
Fannie Lou Hamer, June E. Johnson, James West, Euvester Simpson, Annelle
Ponder and others were jailed in Winona, Mississippi. Two black prisoners were ordered to beat Mrs. Hamer. She was beaten so badly she no longer had feelings in her legs.
Mrs. Hamer’s passion for her people and her interest and understanding of how powerful the political process was in America led her and others to create the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the Credential Committee in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1964 to be seated rather than the regular Democrats who they exclaimed were "illegally elected" based on discriminatory practices against blacks statewide. “We Will Not Accept The Compromise”, stated Mrs. Hamer. She had consulted with Bob Moses and Mrs. Unita Blackwell and others prior. Mr. Lawrence Guyot (Chairman MFDP) was in jail and couldn't make the trip.
President Johnson interrupted the nationally televised convention in
order to keep Fannie Lou and her views from spreading like wildfire.
All of the major networks later ran her speech in its entirety and the
whole country was spellbound to hear such convictions coming from a
Southerner who felt she had nothing left to fear but fear itself.
"If the Freedom Democratic Party isn't seated today, I Question America", Fannie told the Credentials Committee. "Is this America where we have to sleep with our phones off the hooks because we be threatened daily just cause we want to register to vote to become first class citizens".
Mrs. Hamer’s efforts did not stop there. She challenged Black
Educators to “teach our children more about our history since school
books left it out”. She started a daycare center with the assistance of
the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) under the leadership of Dr.
Dorothy Irene Height (President). Mrs. Hamer also, organized
approximately, 640 acres of Freedom Farm land.
June E. Johnson gets very emotional when speaking about Mrs.
Hamer. I gave BLOOD with this lady, do you understand me?" I love
Mrs. Hamer and she discussed with me her "Unfinished Business"
while she lay on her death bed, continues Johnson. June was beaten
in jail with Fannie Lou for voter registration activities as a teenager.
Fannie Lou Hamer's labor ceased at 5:15 p.m. on March 14, 1977 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi due to Breast Cancer and complications from her jail house beating.
Thank you both for this piece of history on Fannie
Let us do what she would expect from us today
thank you, cherry.
I heard the name, but didnt research the history.
Far too often, the most common names are thrown out there and for some (me included) that's where our history stops.
Another unsung heroine.
Separate names with a comma.