- To Praise Our Bridges (autobiography) (1967)
Fannie Lou (Townsend) Hamer was born on October 6, 1917 in rural Montgomery County, Mississippi. She was the youngest of twenty children. She began working the fields with her sharecropper parents at age six. She was married to Perry “Pap” Hamer in 1944. The couple were sharecroppers in Ruleville, Mississippi.
Hamer dedicated her life to fighting for civil rights. She tried to register to vote in 1962 in Indianola, Mississippi. In 1963, she attended a voter registration workshop and was arrested and jailed on the way home. She was in jail when Medgar Evers was murdered. In 1964, she testified before the Credentials Committee at the Democratic Convention in New Jersey. She worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and she and others organized the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. She ran for Congress in Mississippi in 1965 and was a delegate for Mississippi to the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Her autobiography, To Praise Our Bridges, was published in 1967. She helped to establish the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. Her famous comment was ” I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
In 1972, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution praising Fannie Lou Hamer’s contribution to civil rights, and in 2010 recognized the legacy of Hamer, designating that October 6, 2010 be Fannie Lou Hamer Day in Mississippi.
Hamer died in 1977 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. She is buried in Ruleville, Mississippi.
- Biography.com page on Hamer
- Wikipedia page on Fannie Lou Hamer
- Fannie Lou Hamer: Woman of Courage – Howard University Library
- Hear Fannie Lou Hamer’s speech before the Credentials Committee, Democratic National convention, August, 1964
- SNCC 1960 to 1966 describes Fannie Lou Hamer.
- Mississippi Legislature’s Resolution in 2010.
- Info about Hamer’s autobiography.