Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

by Carole Boston Weatherford and Ekua Holmes

“When I was born, on October 6, 1917, the plantation owner / paid my mother... read more

“When I was born, on October 6, 1917, the plantation owner / paid my mother fifty dollars for producing a future field hand.” A biography in poems of activist Fannie Lou Hamer follows her path from a childhood working cotton in a family of sharecroppers to her emergence as a civil rights activist and politician working to secure voting rights and representation for African Americans in Mississippi and nationally. Readable, accessible, and compelling, the poems in Hamer’s first-person voice illuminate her strength of character, but they also feel personal, with vivid details ranging from tender (remembering a mother who taught her “black is beautiful”) to painful (being sterilized without her knowledge). Direct quotes from Hamer are woven into the poems in italics. An author’s note telling more about Hamer’s life and her activism, timeline, and detailed source notes are provided. The illustrations are singular artistic compositions that interpret the content of each individual poem while giving the volume as a whole a striking visual impact and cohesive visual tone. (Age 10 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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