“When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.” –– Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer (October 6, 1917 — March 14, 1977) was a women’s rights and voting rights activist. Born in rural Mississippi, she was known for her impassioned speeches and testimonials wherein she used scripture, hymnals, and straightforward real talk to lead the civil rights movement for Black women in the state, eventually co-founding the National Women’s Political Caucus. During her lifetime, Hamer was extorted, shot at, harassed, arrested, and brutally attacked for trying to register and exercise her right to vote. The work she started to empower disenfranchised voters in the South is still being carried out to this day.
This Black History Month, join ZORA in celebrating the Black women who changed the world through their activism, their talents, and their bravery.