On the Lived Theology Reading List: The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is, edited by Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. HouckTo Tell It Like It Is

Many people know about Fannie Lou Hamer’s impassioned speech delivered at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, but far fewer people are familiar with the speeches Hamer delivered at the 1968 and 1972 conventions, to say nothing of addresses she gave closer to home, or with Malcolm X in Harlem, or even at the founding of the National Women’s Political Caucus. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer, edited by  is a collection of twenty-one of Hamer’s most important speeches and testimonies which are meant to highlight her skill as an orator in oft-overlooked situations.

This book includes speeches from many different parts of Hamer’s fifteen year career as an activist, including her responses to events such as a Vietnam War Moratorium Rally in Berkeley, California, and a summons to testify in a Mississippi courtroom. The speeches in this book are coupled with with brief critical descriptions that place Hamer’s words in context, and there are additional materials within the book such as the last full-length oral history interview Hamer granted and a recent oral history interview Brooks conducted with Hamer’s daughter.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“Fannie Lou Hamer lives within the pages of To Tell It Like It Is, a collection of her speeches and interviews prefaced by a short biography. Those who knew her will know her better, and those who didn’t will meet a humane, relevant, inspirational leader who can inspire us all to action right now.”—Gloria Steinem

“The single best primary source anthology available for studying the grassroots sharecropper activist turned warrior”—P. Harvey (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), CHOICE, January 2015 issue

For more information on the publication, click here.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

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