Fannie Lou Hamer

Voting Rights Activist

Fannie Lou Hammer was a powerful voice in the Civil Rights movement for her work with voter registration, black representation in politics, and community organizing.

Fannie Lou Hamer co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. This was a political party that was formed and welcomed all people regardless of the color of their skin. At that time, parties were majority white and not integrated. The goal of the party was to help give Blacks a voice in politics.

In 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer ran for congress against a white Democrat named Jamie Whitton who had held that position for many years. Hamer knew that it would be hard for her to win, especially since there were about 5% of Blacks eligible to vote but she did it anyway because she wanted to show Black people that they would run for office. They refused to put her name on the ballot but they held Mock elections and many Black voters showed up. 

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