“Fannie Lou Hamer: Smiling at Satan’s Rage”

Posted on December 15, 2020 by PLT Staff

Using civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s songs, speeches, and the unexpected parallel of 14th century Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, Shriver argues that Hamer’s informal but robust theological training gave her a unique capacity to syncretize seemingly contradictory notions of defeat and victory, pain and joy, death and birth. Shriver concludes that her unique theological contributions and expression demand that she be remembered not just as an activist but as a great contemplative of the Christian tradition.

Excerpt: “[Fannie Lou Hamer’s] witness—which made room for black power and interracialism, and Christians and agnostics—was not swayed by the fast-changing preferences of younger activists. In retrospect, it seems abundantly clear who was not at whose level of development, though Hamer would likely never have said such a thing.”

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