Fannie Lou Hamer: Civil Rights Activist

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Fannie Lou Hamer was an influential civil rights activist during the mid-1900s. She gave many empowering speeches to encourage African-Americans to exercise their right to vote. In fact, she is well-known for her efforts in Mississippi which was a hotbed for segregation. She spoke out against the all white delegation and inspired the black community to rise up against their oppressors. She didn’t focus her attention only on voting rights. She also helped the poor in her community because she understood the struggles and hardships blacks experienced during that period. Fannie Lou Hamer fought in the civil rights war against inequality by creating organizations to promote black voting registrations and her efforts had a major impact on society,…show more content…
Her parents Ella and James Lee Townsend were sharecroppers on a cotton farm so, the majority of her early life took place in the fields. At the age of two, her family moved to Sunflower County and worked on the E.W. Brandon plantation. As the youngest of twenty children, Lou started to work in the fields at the age of 6 to help support her family. Since her family struggled and were hungry most of the time, Lou stopped attending school when she was twelve. Her parents eventually saved up enough money to rent land and purchase mules and a car. With this success, poverty soon followed because a white neighbor poisoned the mules in spite of the family’s success. Fannie Lou was able to read and write and in 1944, the owner of the land hired her as a time and record keeper. In 1945, Fannie Lou married Perry Hamer who was a tractor driver. The couple then settled in the city known as Ruleville and were sharecroppers there for another eighteen years. At this cotton plantation, Fannie Lou Hamer adopted two children due to the fact that she was sterilized without her permission in 1961 by a white doctor that prevented her to be able to conceive and bear children. Fannie Lou Hamer began to rise as a civil rights activist in the 1950s when she took part in conferences that were held by the Regional Council of Negro Leadership. Through these conferences she met Thurgood Marshall, the civil rights leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Charles Diggs, who was a Congressman of

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