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Fannie Lou Hamer, from Mississippi Black Paper
June 1963

When we were put in the jail, and when I was put in the jail, I told them that nothing is right around here. The arresting officer had lied and said that I was resisting arrest. I told them that I was not leaving my cell, and that if they wanted me they had to kill me in the cell and drag me out. I would rather be killed inside my cell instead of outside the cellĂ 

Doctor Searcy, Cleveland, Mississippi, said that I had been beaten so deeply that my nerve endings are permanently damaged, and I am sore.

Copyright © 1965 by Random House, Inc.  Selected from the Library of America anthology.  See  Reporting  Civil  Rights:  American Journalism 1941-1963.