The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is

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Maegan Parker Brooks, Davis W. Houck
Univ. Press of Mississippi, May 27, 2011 - Political Science - 288 pages

Most people who have heard of Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) are aware of the impassioned testimony that this Mississippi sharecropper and civil rights activist delivered at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Far fewer people are familiar with the speeches Hamer delivered at the 1968 and 1972 conventions, to say nothing of addresses she gave closer to home, or with Malcolm X in Harlem, or even at the founding of the National Women's Political Caucus. Until now, dozens of Hamer's speeches have been buried in archival collections and in the basements of movement veterans. After years of combing library archives, government documents, and private collections across the country, Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck have selected twenty-one of Hamer's most important speeches and testimonies.

As the first volume to exclusively showcase Hamer's talents as an orator, this book includes speeches from the better part of her fifteen-year activist career delivered in response to occasions as distinct as a Vietnam War Moratorium Rally in Berkeley, California, and a summons to testify in a Mississippi courtroom.

Brooks and Houck have coupled these heretofore unpublished speeches and testimonies with brief critical descriptions that place Hamer's words in context. The editors also include the last full-length oral history interview Hamer granted, a recent oral history interview Brooks conducted with Hamer's daughter, as well as a bibliography of additional primary and secondary sources. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer demonstrates that there is still much to learn about and from this valiant black freedom movement activist.


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I Dont Mind My Light Shining Speech Delivered at a Freedom Vote Rally in Greenwood Mississippi Fall 1963
Federal Trial Testimony Oxford Mississippi December 2 1963
Testimony Before a Select Panel on Mississippi and Civil Rights Washington DC June 8 1964
Testimony Before the Credentials Committee at the Democratic National Convention Atlantic City New Jersey August 22 1964
Were On Our Way Speech Delivered at a Mass Meeting in Indianola Mississippi September 1964
Im Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired Speech Delivered with Malcolm X at the Williams Institutional CME Church Harlem New York Decembe...
Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration House of Representatives Washington DC September 1...
The Only Thing We Can Do Is to Work Together Speech Delivered at a Chapter Meeting of the National Council of Negro Women in Mississippi 19...
America Is a Sick Place and Man Is on the Critical List Speech Delivered at Loop College Chicago Illinois May 27 1970
Until I Am Free You Are Not Free Either Speech Delivered at the University of Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin January 1971
Is It Too Late? Speech Delivered at Tougaloo College Tougaloo Mississippi Summer 1971
Nobodys Free Until Everybodys Free Speech Delivered at the Founding of the National Womens Political Caucus Washington DC July 10 1971
If the Name of the Game Is Survive Survive Speech Delivered in Ruleville Mississippi September 27 1971
Seconding Speech for the Nomination of Frances Farenthold Delivered at the 1972 Democratic National Convention Miami Beach Florida July 13 19...
Interview with Fannie Lou Hamer by Dr Neil McMillen April 14 1972 and January 25 1973 Ruleville Mississippi Oral History Program University of...
We Havent Arrived Yet Presentation and Responses to Questions at the University of Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin January 29 1976

What Have We to Hail? Speech Delivered in Kentucky Summer 1968
Speech on Behalf of the Alabama Delegation at the 1968 Democratic National Convention Chicago Illinois August 27 1968
To Tell It Like It Is Speech Delivered at the Holmes County Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Municipal Elections Rally in Lexington Mississipp...
Testimony Before the Democratic Reform Committee Jackson Mississippi May 22 1969
To Make Democracy a Reality Speech Delivered at the Vietnam War Moratorium Rally Berkeley California October 15 1969
Interview with Vergie Hamer Faulkner

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About the author (2011)

Maegan Parker Brooks, Maple Valley, Washington, is a freelance writer, public speaking consultant, and instructor of communication studies at the University of Puget Sound.

Davis W. Houck, Tallahassee Florida, is professor of communication at Florida State University.

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