In honor of Black History Month we are honoring lesser known African American heroes to tell their story and appreciate their accomplishments.
Fannie Lou Hamer was a Civil Rights Activist in Mississippi in the 1900’s. Hamer was one of the many victims of non-consensual sterilization by a white doctor.
According to the National Women’s History Museum, “Such forced sterilization of Black women, as a way to reduce the Black population, was so widespread it was dubbed a ‘Mississippi appendectomy.'”
Although victimized, Hamer was far from discouraged. She turned the situation into a form of empowerment by attending civil rights meetings for non-violent activist groups.
“Hamer was incensed by efforts to deny Blacks the right to vote,” said the National Woman’s History Museum. “She became a SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) organizer and on August 31, 1962 led 17 volunteers to register to vote at the Indianola, Mississippi Courthouse.”
Though unsuccessful in her first several attempts, Fannie Lou Hamer was named as co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Her hardships encouraged her great success and laid the foundation for Civil Rights throughout history.