Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 -
March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil
She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi's "Freedom
Summer" for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC),
and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom
Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention
in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity.
Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical
righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an
electrifying speaker and constant champion of civil rights.
She ran for Congress in 1964 and 1965, and was then seated as a
member of Mississippi's legitimate delegation to the Democratic
National Convention of 1968, where she was an outspoken critic of
the Vietnam War.
She continued to work on other projects, including
grassroots-level Head Start programs, the Freedom Farm Cooperative
in Sunflower County, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Poor People's