Fannie Lou Hame

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Fannie Lou Hamer By: Jessica Anderson Fannie Lou Hamer was born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 and died March 14, 1977. Fannie Lou was the twentieth child to parents Jim and Lou Ella Townsend. As sharecroppers working for area farms, the Townsends saved money to buy a farm and mules of their own. However, a malicious white neighbor poisoned their animals to prevent the family from attaining financial freedom. She was an American Voting rights activist and civil rights leader. Fannie Lou Hamer is well known a fighter in the American Civil Rights Movement. Despite the prevailing literacy laws, she fought for the right to vote in 1962 as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Fannie believed that Black Americans needed to be educated on various aspects of economics and politics in order to be more successful. She not only championed for rights to vote but also fought against the pervasive poverty in the Black community. She promoted economic assistance for Black Americans. One of her projects was Freedom Farms Corporation; she founded this land coop with the intention of having poor farmers eventually purchase a stake in this land. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey in that capacity. 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, or a KKK riot, Mrs. Hamer would sing like “Ain’t no tomorrow”. She then married Perry “Pap” Hamer in 1942. Although she dropped out of school at age twelve, she continued her education with

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