FANNY LOU HAMER
Woman of Faith
1917-1977

Who was Fanny Lou Hamer?  She was a voting, and civil rights activist who began her fight for equality in 1962.  She was extorted, thretened, harassed, shot at, assaulted by KKK members and the police while trying to register to vote.  She was a woman of faith, who was known for her love for the Lord, her constant singing of Gospel music, and Bible quotes.

I want to share with you just one of her many experiences.  In the summer of 1963, after an all-night bus ride, she and six other black passengers stopped to eat at a diner in Winona, Mississippi.  The owner refused to serve them because they were black, and called the police.  The police officers forced them to leave, then arrested and jailed them.  But their humiliation would not end with an unlawful arrest.  All seven of them received severe beatings, but Fanny's was the worst.  After the brutal attack that left her near death, she burst out singing, "Paul and Silas was bound in jail, let my people go;" and she kept on singing as the other prisoners in the jail joined in.  The song she sang came from the Bible experience of Paul and Silas recorded in Acts 16:25-34.  Discomfort didn't dampen hr faith.  The jailhouse became a place of worship.  The song in her heart honored the Lord.

We must remember that the KKK was organized and funded by the Democratic National Committee immediately after the end of the Civil War.  Its purpose was to serve as the military arm of the party; and keep Republicans from being elected in the south.  All of the former slaves were Republicans.

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