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No photo available Fannie Lou Hamer
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(October 6, 1917-March 14, 1977) Born Fannie Lou Townsend in Montgomery County, Mississippi (married Perry Hamer in 1944). Picked cotton from the age of six; left school at thirteen to help support family. Worked as sharecropper on W. D. Marlow plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi; evicted in 1962 after attempting to register to vote. Became SNCC fieldworker later in 1962. Registered successfully early in 1963; in June, with June E. Johnson, Annell Ponder, and others, arrested and beaten in Winona, Mississippi. In 1964 ran unsuccessfully for Congress as candidate of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Participated in Oxford, Ohio, training of Freedom Summer volunteers. Appeared before credentials committee of 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City on behalf of MFDP challenge to Mississippi delegation; traveled to Guinea with SNCC workers and joined Malcolm X in New York rallies. In 1965 filed lawsuit contesting several election results in Sunflower County, Mississippi; won case in Federal appeals court, leading to new elections. Lost 1967 election for board of Sunflower County antipoverty agency. In 1968 served as delegate to Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Established Freedom Farm in 1969; later forced to sell to creditors. Established "pig bank" with National Council of Negro Women, loaning pigs to poor Mississippi families; worked to establish Head Start programs in Mississippi Delta. Filed 1970 lawsuit against Sunflower County alleging failure to desegregate schools; bombing of home attempted early in 1971. Ran unsuccessfully for Mississippi State Senate. Died in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.