Jump to main content

Fanny Lou Hamer


Rachel RetlandRachel Retland
March 25, 2021

I recently began listening to a podcast discussing the life and legacy of Fanny Lou Hamer. You may have heard of her most recognized phrase, “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired,” which was actually engraved on her tombstone.

Fanny Lou Hamer grew up as the youngest in a large family of sharecropping workers, picking cotton at the young age of six years old, and decided to end her studies to financially support her family through sharecropping. This woman was hardworking and passionate, loved God, and her favorite song to sing was This Little Light of Mine.

When I learned about the horrible, painful, shaming, and scarring incident that happened to her due to her participation in fighting for the voting rights of Black men and women, I was hurt but greatly thankful. Among all the felt when hearing her story, I was appreciative to have such a godly Black woman in history as an ancestor.

So, what does this mean for me in today’s world? I find this encourages me to continue digging through online history books in search of more breathtaking stories. Hamer’s story has opened my eyes to a new level of determination and effort in the work for social justice that I want to have the courage to adopt within my own lifestyle. I am aware my current standing in history is nowhere near Hamer’s, yet I am just as eager to make my own meaningful mark in the spaces I occupy and, ultimately, the world. I will take that courageous stand to help others no matter what.

If you are interested in learning more about how Fanny Lou Hamer has shaped our country, check out the Spotify podcast Black History for White People episode, Fanny Lou Hamer.

Like and follow the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center
on social media for updates and events.