Oct. 2, 2017

Fannie Lou Hamer, 100 Years

Don't let anyone tell you any different the spirit of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer is still alive in our community today. The fact of the matter is Fannie's words "ain't nobody free until everybody is free" still lingers in our hearts and minds, whether we know it or now.  This dirt poor black woman who never had any more than two nickels to rub together. This woman whose school education was abysmal by most standards because she was born in the belly of the beast of segregation, the State of Mississippi. This woman who didn't know her rights because she never thought black people had no rights. This woman who one day encountered those young SNCC workers who for the very first time gave her a sense that she was indeed somebody, something of value, something of worth, more than just a tool of the oppressive state that she resided in. 

Fannie Lou Hamer, born on the sixth day of October in the year of our Lord, 1917, will be celebrating her 100th birthday this coming Friday.  I meant to begin honoring Fannie Lou Hamer Week yesterday but this cold has me somewhat saddled down. My energy level is waning but I couldn't go another day without acknowledging one of the greatest freedom fighters that ever walked the face of this earth. Fannie Lou Hamer grew up most of her life in Sunflower County, Mississippi. Fannie Lou Hamer faced the barriers of being born black in a white privileged world. Fannie knew nothing beyond the sharecropper's land she and her husband worked. Yet one summer, oh my God, one summer, Fannie Lou Hamer stood face to face with her destiny. She chose the right path, it was the most difficult path but for every black person in this nation. We owe Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices she faced to secure not only her rights but the rights of black people nationwide.

Fannie Lou Hamer was as tough as nails but she also was as soulful a person who ever lived in the Delta. That soulfulness was what led her to the path of civil rights. She believed in the good book and refused to call God a liar.  She in her heart knew that people no matter the color of their skins all worshipped the same God on an equal level. Fannie Lou Hamer said these powerful words, "I don't care if you have P.H.D. or no D,  whether you're from Morehouse or Nohouse, we're all in this bag together."  Fannie knew no matter your economic or educational standing you were still a disrespected black person in many sectors of this nation.   So this afternoon I say proudly thank God that there still is a little Fannie Lou Hamer in all of us, or at least there should be. You I can Fannie Lou Hamer standing right now with Colin Kaepernick. Fannie is holding a Justice For All banner, wearing a Black Lives Matter Tee, and singing proudly "we shall not be moved."