June 9, 1963: Fannie Lou Hamer was on her way back from Charleston, South Carolina with other activists from a literacy workshop, stopping in Winona, Mississippi, the group was arrested on a false charge and jailed. Once in jail, Hamer and her colleagues were beaten savagely by the police, almost to the point of death.
Released on June 12, she needed more than a month to recover. Though the incident had profound physical and psychological effects, Hamer returned to Mississippi to organize voter registration drives, including the “Freedom Ballot Campaign”, a mock election, in 1963, and the “Freedom Summer” initiative in 1964.
Fannie Lou Hamer (born Fannie Lou Townsend) was a voting rights activist andcivil rights leader.She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity.
Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant activist of civil rights.
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