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Five Things you did not know about Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Haver was an extraordinary woman. There are not enough superlatives to describe her. Most people only talk about the highlights of her life. Here are five impressive things that are, if ever discussed.

1. As a little girl she loved poetry and reading the bible. Although she only had a sixth grade education, she was a good reader and a great speller - even winning spelling bees. She would recite from both scripture and poetry to family and guests who visited the family. The beginning of her career as a powerful orator.

2. When the plantation owner discovered that she could read, the job of time and record keeper was given to her. That was a very important job.

3. Ms. Hamer was an advocate for women’s rights. She founded the National Women’s Political Caucus. An organization created to recruit, train and support women, of any race, who wanted to get elected to government office.

4. Ms. Hamer was one of the organizers of the Freedom Summer.

5. Ms. Hamer created the Freedom Farm Cooperative. The cooperative allowed families to trade work hours for a bushel of the farm's produce. She also had a pig farm that helped farmers raise pigs and sell them for profit. Eventually she made affordable housing possible on the FFC property.

Her critics always pointed to the fact that she was not educated. For a woman who did not finish her education, she had to help her family sharecropping due to poverty, still worked hard at her mission to lift up her people and believed in everybody having equal rights. Listen to some of her speeches and just her thoughts during interviews. You will find an extraordinary women dedicated to humanity. That makes her truly a gift to us and a phenomenal woman.

Sigrid Channer


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