Fannie Lou Hamer and the Civil Rights Movement in Rural Mississippi
A primary source set and teaching guide created by educators.
by Jamie Lathan
Born to sharecroppers in rural Mississippi in 1917, the youngest of twenty children, Fannie Lou Hamer knew well the realities of racism, discrimination, and poverty. She used her knowledge in grassroots activism on behalf of voters’ rights, African Americans, and civil rights. “Sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Hamer provided a voice for oppressed and disenfranchised black majorities in the Deep South in the 1960s through her strength, passion, courage, and faith. Hamer epitomized the persistent struggles and victories of the US civil rights movement. African Americans in the Mississippi Delta, activists in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party, and participants in the Freedom Summer were all influenced by her personality and leadership. This primary source set offers readers a greater understanding of Fannie Lou Hamer.