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Fannie Lou Hamer's fight continues today

40 minutes

In her book Until I Am Free, Keisha N. Blain situates Fannie Lou Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe.

Despite her limited material resources and the myriad challenges she endured as a Black woman living in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer committed herself to making a difference in the lives of others and improving American democracy for everyone. She refused to be sidelined in the movement and refused to be intimidated by those of higher social status and with better jobs and education. As she saw it, no one was free until everyone was free.

Blain is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States with broad interests and specializations in African American history, the modern African diaspora, and women’s and gender studies. She is an associate professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the African American Intellectual History Society. She is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. She is also a columnist for MSNBC, covering race, gender, and politics in historical and contemporary perspectives.

Additional Information

Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America

Hamer's 1964 Democratic National Convention speech

Blain's website

Blain on Twitter

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