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Fannie Reading & Media List

Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, films, and music to enhance your experience of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. Get to know the incredible Fannie Lou Hamer, read more of playwright Cheryl L. West's work, dive into themes explored in the play, and much more.

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The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer
by Asch, Chris Myers
Book - 2008

This absorbing history follows the intertwined stories of two Mississippians: Fannie Lou Hamer, a key figure in the civil rights movement, and Senator James Eastland, a staunch segregationist who opposed Hamer's efforts to expand voting rights.

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Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America
by Blain, Keisha N.
Book - 2021

In this well-researched work, historian Blain presents an inspiring and thoughtful portrait of Hamer, exploring her activism and legacy with trenchant analysis and an undeniable admiration for her subject.

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Fannie Lou Hamer: The Life of A Civil Rights Icon
by Bracey, Earnest N.
Book - 2011

Black historian Earnest Bracey presents an informative and engaging portrait of Hamer in this short biography that highlights her work with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

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Fannie Lou Hamer: America's Freedom Fighting Woman
by Brooks, Maegan Parker
Book - 2020

This recent biography of Hamer is an accessible and enlightening introduction to the life of the woman Malcolm X once dubbed "the country's number one freedom fighting woman."

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A Voice That Could Stir An Army: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Rhetoric of the Black Freedom Movement
by Brooks, Maegan Parker
Book - 2014

Brooks, a communications professor, analyzes the symbolism, power and imagery of Hamer's speeches in this companion volume to The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer.

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Classic African American Gospel
Music CD - 2008

Hamer was known for her powerful singing voice as well as her civil rights activism. This collection of African American gospel songs includes her rendition of "Go Tell It On the Mountain."

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Fannie Lou Hamer: Voting Rights Activist
Streaming Video - 2016

This short documentary film (about 67 min.) provides a concise biographical sketch of Hamer's life and her work as a civil rights activist in the 1960s.

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Festival: Folk Music at Newport, 1963-1966
DVD - 2017

In this historic film, cinematographer Murray Lerner captured many riveting performances during the Newport Folk Festival's peak years, including Fannie Lou Hamer singing songs of protest and freedom.

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The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is
by Hamer, Fannie Lou
Book - 2011

Hamer was a gifted orator, who possessed a remarkable ability to connect with her audiences through her plainspoken yet stirring speeches. This volume collects 21 of her most important speeches and places them in historical context.

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Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
by Jones, Martha S.
Book - 2020

In this insightful social history, Black historian Martha S. Jones places Hamer's untiring work for voting rights within a larger history of Black women's civil rights activism, stretching from the early 19th century to the present day.

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Walk With Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer
by Larson, Kate Clifford
Book - 2021

Along with Blain's book, Walk With Me is one of two biographies of Hamer published in 2021. Read both to get a complete portrait of this remarkable woman's life and achievements.

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A Place of Rage
Web Resource

Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and June Jordan discuss the life and legacy of Black women civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Rosa Parks in this short, inspiring documentary.

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The Social Power of Music
Web Resource

From Smithsonian Folkways Recordings comes a collection of more than 80 songs that "remind us that music has the potential to change our world," including Fannie Lou Hamer's rendition of "I Woke Up This Morning."

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Freedom Summer: The Savage Summer That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America A Democracy
by Watson, Bruce
Book - 2010

Hamer was one of the key organizers of Freedom Summer, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, which culminated in her historic speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

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Jar the Floor
by West, Cheryl L.
Book - 2002

Explore more of Fannie playwright Cheryl L. West's work by reading one of her earliest works, a heartwarming dramatic comedy about four Black women, spanning four generations.


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