Like many African Americans living in the Jim Crow South, Fannie Lou Hamer was not aware she had voting rights. “I had never heard, until 1962, that black people could register and vote.”
“They talked about how it was our rights as human beings to register to vote. I never knew we could vote before. Nobody ever told us.” She became an organizer and in the summer of 1962, led 17 neighbors to the Indianola, Mississippi, courthouse to register to vote. They were unsuccessful. Upon return, her employer, objecting to her trying to register to vote, fired her.
The right to vote remains under attack. Everyone should be reminded of Fannie Lou Hamer’s courage as a valuable tool for fighting voter suppression that is still relevant today.
Join Our Redistricting Committee
There is only one Black woman serving in elected office in Houston County, and the county has not elected a Black countywide official since the 1980s. This project seeks to bring gender and racial parity to the County Commission through a fair redistricting process.