Fannie Lou Hamer’s Powerful Testimony | Freedom Summer

The testimony before the Credentials Committee, the FDP had a line up of very different people. They had Rita Schwerner, the widow of Mickey, who had been killed in Neshoba County. They had Martin Luther King. Everybody knew King. The seating of the delegation from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, has political and moral significance far beyond the borders of Mississippi, or the halls of this convention. But the highlight of that testimony was that of Fannie Lou Hamer. The sharecropper who had been evicted from her plantation had come to symbolize the Mississippi movement. Mr. Chairmen and to the credentials committee. It was the 31st of August in 1962 that eighteen of us travelled twenty-six miles to the county courthouse in Indianola to try to register to become first class citizens. We was met in Indianola by policemen. The President, Lyndon Johnson, he’s not
afraid of Martin Luther King’s testimony. He’s afraid of Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony. And so he decides that the country should not see her testify live. Johnson is in the White House and he convened an impromptu press conference. We will return to this scene in Atlantic City. But now we switch to the White House and NBC’s
Robert Garosky. Now ladies and gentleman, the President of
the United States. On this day, nine months ago… He did it knowing that they would break away
thinking he might announce who his choice of Vice President was gonna be. Instead he gets up there and he announces,
get this, he announces that it’s nine months to the day since, since Governor Connolly,
who was there, was shot along with President Kennedy. So he announced a nine-month anniversary, everybody’s scratching their heads. Thank you very much. And then he leaves. By that time Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony was over. However, it backfired on Johnson because it became a story that she had been taken off television, and in the news that night and for days afterwards they replayed her testimony. I was carried to the county jail and put in
the booking room. They left some of the people in the booking
room and began to place us in cells. She had Mississippi in her bones. Martin Luther King, or the SNCC field secretaries they couldn’t do what Fannie Lou Hamer did. They couldn’t be a sharecropper and express what it meant. And that’s what Fannie Lou Hamer did. And it wasn’t too long before three white
men came to my cell. One of these men was state a highway patrolman. He said we going to make you wish you was dead.

57 thoughts on “Fannie Lou Hamer’s Powerful Testimony | Freedom Summer


    How many remember the song "We Shall Over Come"?It was the song sung by MLK and those who stood with him during the civil rights movement in the 60's.This song was spiritually inspirational for those who were committed to overcome civil injustice,racial inequality,poverty,etc.This song was sung as rocks were thrown,dogs attacking,police beatings of marchers determined to overcome being treated less than human.Some marchers even lost their lives.Black folks had enough and were unconditionally committed to the movement to change their conditions & status in America.As a child I watched what was happening on TV and listened to the radio to the beginning of change for the oppressed citizens of America.The process had begun,no more sitting in the back of the bus.No more suppression of voting rights.Children of color could attend schools who's policies forbid them from attending."We Shall Over Come",yes we were hopeful ,people of color were making progress towards equality.Then came the assassinations of prominent Black leaders,MLK,Malcolm X and others.This slowed the progression of the "Peoples Movement",the singing seem to stop,the progress that was made was not being nurtured.Complacency seemed to set in by the people through the following years.Did some of us believed that we had arrived in society?Had we forgotten about what sacrifices were made for us,had we lost our way?How did we allow our self respect & pride,our love for one another slip away.What happened to us through the years,maybe it was the "Heroin & Crack epidemic.That swept through communities of color,leaving devastation & death.Has our courage been depleted through the years.It is now 2014,the era of "Sex & Violence.The biggest "Crisis" in America today is "Gun Violence".This is the scourge & plague in America's communities of color.There's a aura of hopelessness coming from people of color today.Remember those who had less than nothing that started the process of change,though today people of color have more.Reality is we still have nothing as a people.No empowerment,no Unity,no real family structure or moral fiber.Children of color killing one another.Our passion to stand for what is right has diminished.We complain on our knees,still we won't stand up for our children.Today we must "Overcome" ourselves,because we've allowed ourselves to forget.Living in denial about how we have a part in what has happened to us.In order to start the process,we have to be willing to be forthright in being diligent,accepting criticism from naysayers.Our children's lives are in peril.We can no longer afford to stand by and let them kill each other.Time for a new "Peoples Movement",still first we must "Overcome" ourselves.Then perhaps by God's will,we will begin to sing our battle cry "We Shall Over Come" in the process to save our children's lives and restore hope…….No Violence-Know Peace!
    Posted by *ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!**Save Our Children!* 

  • Until I saw this story, and listened to Ms. Hamer, I did not fully appreciate what 'freedom' meant to African-Americans in the 1963 March on Washington.  In her unscripted testimony, Ms. Hamer taught the nation what it meant to live the life of a black person in the 1964 South.  It meant terror  Because a black person never knew when the night riders might pull up to your house and take a family member to lynch that night; might arrest and beat you; might kill your child for no reason at all.  It's more subtle now, but Michael Brown's murder by a Ferguson, Missouri, policeman unveiled that African American mothers of male children still face terror.  And new voting restrictions that have been enacted by states and even the Supreme Court show that the beating Fannie Lou Hamer endured still does not guarantee the free right to vote for all citizens.

  • I'm glad this testimony was given. That is my mother Mrs. Mary Lane Bruce of Greenwood  being shown when the film was on the audience. She participated first hand in the movement with King and Hamer and all the activist of her time in Mississippi.

  • ok so you didn't show her whole testimony from start to finish. I don't get it. You said the President convened a press conference to distract from her testimony, and your film does the same thing. It would be great if you could show it from start to finish.

  • God rest her soul they got a statue of her in Mississippi she was a remarkable woman she paved the way so young folks today don't have to they ain't teaching the children real history today it's all nonsense and black on black crime needs to rethink itself ppl like Mrs. Fannie worked hard to give these thugs there freedom to be recognized as first class citizens and they piss it all away

  • Does anybody know where full, uninterrupted speech is? I've searched across YouTube and can't seem to find it and this video interrupts Fannie Lou as much as it did back then. Let's hear it from the woman herself!

  • There is no parallel if the result is different – if it is accepted to go down the same route as previously taken "there will be no change, no accountability to the people". Martin Luther King thought there would be a future abided for a time and they just shot him to shut him up.

  • The woman was given a "Mississippi Appendectomy" (her Uterus was removed) without her knowledge or consent!!! She had so much looked forward to a future with children, and that right was stolen from her!!! She went in for a Fibroid removal, and they TOOK her FERTILITY intentionally out of racial prejudice, & decided to prevent her from "having a litter."
    Out of ALL she suffered, that is the saddest of all ,I feel. 🙁

  • I had never heard of this woman but then I watched All the way and just had to look her up. What happened to her wasn't in vain because 50 plus years later were still listening to her and finding out who she is. God bless her.

  • We need a movie about thus beautiful woman. Her story and her fight is still what were fighting today. May God bless her RIP we love you.

  • I'm embarrassed to admit that I was not familiar with Fannie Lou Hamer until I checked out a biography intended for 5th graders. Now I'm here in tears watching youtube clips. Why is she not on money yet?

  • So called "black people" have not been treated fairly at any point during the history of racism, which it's white supremacy. Mainly because the system off white supremacy requires the mistreatment of people based on color. There are wonderful clips on YouTube from Neely Fuller Jr dealing with this subject of white supremacy. In fact, I'm watching this video because of a statement made by Neely Fuller Jr.
    This is a Great video and thank you for sharing it.

  • Rest in Power my Dear Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer! We Love you. Most incredible human that ever lived!
    #with God & Angels!

  • i need the full speech, all i got is people talking over her. Ironically while telling us how President Johnson diverted the American public away from her speech you don't even deliver the full thing to us. Con artist.

  • This courageous woman to this day still brings me to absolute tears when I hear her speak. We cant ever forget her contribution to our liberation

  • Black people in the 50s and 60s were some of the smartest and bravest people. America has been Hell on Earth for black folks from 1619 to 2019. I love her speech but at the same time we shouldn't have to give emotional speeches to make the devil feel empathy and compassion for us. They know what they are doing they feel like what their doing (inflicting terror) is ok. It's almost as if inflicting terror is in their DNA. That's why I'm nice I'll be professional but I don't get comfortable around them because I know their spirit and possibly their DNA. But it's in the DNA of black folks to be foolish, ignorant and forgiving. There is no way blacks should be still kissing white ass,wanting to be like whites or having sex with them. Our struggles is captured in the book of Deutroamony. Whats next is Jacobs Trouble. I believe it will be all nations teaming up against the blacks not selling to us or willing to rent or hire us knowing we don't control or own anything. That's why black homelessness and famine is on the rise.

  • Damn not only did the news cut her off so did this video I couldn’t hear shit she was saying🤦🏾‍♂️

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