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Main > Politics & Religion > Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend on October 6, 1917 - March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader.

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 Campaign.

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