Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer was born on this day in 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The story of Mrs. Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) should be central to any study of U.S. history. Hamer and thousands more Mississippians took one of the boldest moves ever in U.S. history to fight for a democratic process in national elections.Read more »
By Julian Hipkins III and Deborah Menkart
Fifty years ago this month, Mississippi sharecropper Fannie Lou Hamer gripped the nation with her televised testimony of being forced from her home and brutally beaten (suffering permanent kidney damage) for attempting to exercise her constitutional right to vote.
“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” she asked the credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Read more »
Book – Non-fiction. By by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes. 2015. 45 pages.
Illustrated biography of Fannie Lou Hamer, an unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement.
Book – Non-fiction. By Kay Mills. 2007. 390 pages.
First-hand accounts of Fannie Lou Hamer’s emergence as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Teaching Activity. By Julian Hipkins III, Deborah Menkart, Sara Evers, and Jenice View. 2014.
Role play on the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) for grades 7+. Introduces students to a vital example of small “d” democracy in action.
Teaching Activity. Essay by Howard Zinn and lesson by Bill Bigelow. 17 pages.
Students research and share stories about unsung heroes in U.S. history.
Teaching Guide. Edited by Deborah Menkart, Alana D. Murray, and Jenice L. View. 2004. 576 pages.
Provides lessons and articles for K-12 educators on how to go beyond a heroes approach to the Civil Rights Movement, with a focus on education, economics, labor, youth, women, and culture.
Book – Non-fiction. By Charles M. Payne. 1995. 506 pages.
The people’s history of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.
Book – Non-fiction. By John Dittmer. 1995. 560 pages.
A detailed, grassroots description of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.
Book – Non-fiction. By Wesley C. Hogan. 2009. 463 pages.
An innovative study of what the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) accomplished and, more importantly, how it fostered significant social change in such a short time.
Book – Non-fiction. By Charles E. Cobb, Jr. 2008. 388 pages.
An educational travel guide to historic sites of the Civil Rights Movement.
Film. Produced by Henry Hampton. Blackside. 1987. 360 min.
Comprehensive documentary history of the Civil Rights Movement.
Film. Directed Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford. Written by Michael Chandler. 1994. 110 min.
The story of the Mississippi freedom movement in the early 1960s.