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See the fact file below for more information on Fannie Lou Hamer or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was born on 6 October, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi, and was the youngest of 20 children.
- Her parents were Jim and Lou Ella Townsend, who were sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta area.
- Hamer started working in the fields when she was only six years old.
- Around the age of 12, Fannie Lou dropped out of school in order to work full-time and help her family.
- She continued to be a sharecropper after her 1944 marriage to Perry “Pap” Hamer.
- The couple worked on a cotton plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi.
- They were unable to have children because during a surgery to remove a tumor, the surgeon gave her a hysterectomy without her consent.
Civil Rights Activist
- In the summer of 1962, Fannie Lou made a life-changing decision to attend a protest meeting.
- She met civil rights activists who encouraged African-Americans to register to vote.
- She was one of a small group of African-Americans in her area who decided to register themselves.
- On August 31, 1962, she traveled with 17 others to the county courthouse in Indianola to accomplish this goal.
- They encountered opposition from local and state law enforcement along the way.
- Such bravery came at a high price for her. For registering to vote, she was fired from her job and driven off the plantation she’d called home for nearly two decades.
- But these actions only solidified Fannie Lou’s resolve to help other African-Americans exercise their right to vote.
- She dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights, working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
- This organization comprised mostly of African-American students who engaged in acts of civil disobedience to fight racial segregation and injustice in the South.
- These acts were often met with violence by angry white people.
- During the course of her activist career, Fannie Lou was threatened, arrested, beaten and shot at.
- She was severely injured in a Winona, Mississippi, jail in 1963. She and two other activists were taken into custody by police after attending a training workshop.
- Fannie Lou was beaten so badly that she suffered permanent kidney damage.
- In 1964, she helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was established in opposition to her state’s all-white delegation to that year’s Democratic convention.
- She brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at
- The following year, she ran for Congress in Mississippi, but was unsuccessful in her bid.
- Along with her political activism, Fannie Lou worked to help the poor and families in need in her Mississippi community.
- She also set up organizations to increase business opportunities for minorities and to provide childcare and other family services.
- She helped establish the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971.
Death and Legacy
- In 1976, Fannie Lou was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- She continued to fight for civil rights, despite her illness and died on March 14, 1977, in a hospital in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.
- Hundreds crowded into a Ruleville church to pay their respects to this tireless champion for racial equality.
- On her tombstone is written one of her most famous quotes: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Fannie Lou Hamer Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Fannie Lou Hamer worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Fannie Lou Hamer who was a civil rights activist who helped African-Americans register to vote and co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She was also a black orator, educator and farmer in rural Mississippi.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Fannie Lou Hamer Facts
- Bubble Map
- Famous Quotes
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.