Sometimes it seem like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I'll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I'm not backing off.— Fannie Lou Hamer
The most astonishing Fannie Lou Hamer quotes that will activate your inner potential
Never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.
Nobody's free until everybody's free.
Black people know what white people mean when they say “law and order”.
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
With the people, for the people, by the people.
I crack up when I hear it; I say, with the handful, for the handful, by the handful, cause that's what really happens.
I guess if I'd had any sense, I'd have been a little scared [to register to vote] - but what was the point of being scared? The only thing they could do was kill me, and it kinda seemed like they'd been trying to do that a little bit at a time since I could remember.
Righteousness exalts a nation. Hate just makes people miserable.
Christianity is being concerned about [others], not building a million-dollar church while people are starving right around the corner. Christ was a revolutionary person, out there where it was happening. That's what God is all about, and that's where I get my strength.
One day I know the struggle will change.
There's got to be a change-not only for Mississippi, not only for the people in the United States, but people all over the world.
This white man who is saying "it takes time.
" For three hundred and more years they have had "time," and now it is time for them to listen.
If this is a Great Society, I'd hate to see a bad one.
It is only when we speak what is right that we stand a chance at night of being blown to bits in our homes. Can we call this a free country, when I am afraid to go to sleep in my own home in Mississippi?... I might not live two hours after I get back home, but I want to be a part of setting the Negro free in Mississippi.
if I fall, I will fall five-feet four-inches forward in the fight for freedom.
[On her Freedom Farm Cooperative:] If you give a hungry man food, he will eat it. [But] if you give him land, he will grow his own food.
It is our right to stay here and we will stay and stand up for what belongs to us as American citizens, because they can't say that we haven't had patience.
My mother was a great woman. To look at her from the suffering she had gone through to bring us up - 20 children: 6 girls and 14 boys, but still she taught us to be decent and to respect ourselves, and that is one of the things that has kept me going, even after she passed.
It would bring tears in your eyes to make you think of all those years, the type of brain-washing that this man will use in America to keep us separated from our own people.
I am determined to get every Negro in the state of Mississippi registered.
In fact, one day I was going to Jackson and I saw a huge sign that U.
S. Senator John Stennis was speaking that night for the White Citizens Council in Yazoo City and they also have a State Charter that they may set up for "private schools." It is no secret.
The methods used to take human lives, such as abortion, the pill, the ring, etc.
, amounts to genocide. I believe that legal abortion is legal murder.
My parents would make huge crops of sometimes 55 to 60 bales of cotton.
Being from a big family where there were 20 children, it wasn't too hard to pick that much cotton. But my father, year after year, didn't get too much money and I remember he just kept going.
I saw how the Government was run there [in Africa] and I saw where black people were running the banks. I saw, for the first time in my life, a black stewardess walking through a plane and that was quite an inspiration for me.
You can tell this by the program the federal government had to train 2,400 tractor drivers. They would have trained Negro and white together, but this man, Congressman Jamie Whitten, voted against it and everything that was decent. So, we've got to have somebody in Washington who is concerned about the people of Mississippi.
You know the Scripture says "be not deceived for God is not mocked;
whatsoever a man sow that shall he also reap." And one day, I don't know how they're going to get it, but they're going to get some of it back. They are scared to death and are more afraid now than we are.
I don't know about the press, but I know in the town where I live everybody was aware that I was in Africa, because I remember after I got back some of the people told me that Mayor Dura of our town said he just wished they would boil me in tar.
You know I'm not hung up on this liberating myself from the "black" man - I'm not going to try that thing.
Our foreparents were mostly brought from West Africa.
We were brought to America and our foreparents were sold; white people bo ught them; white people changed their names my maiden name is supposed to be Townsend, but really, what is my maiden name? What is my name?
My mother got down sick in 53 and she lived with me, an invalid, until she passed away in 1961. And during the time she was staying with me sometime I would be worked so hard I couldn't sleep at night.
The Mississippi is not the only river.
There's the Tallahatchie and the Big Black. People have been put in the river year after year, these things been happening.
After we testified before the Credentials Committee in Atlantic City, their Mississippi representative testified also. He said I got 600 votes but when they made the count in Mississippi, I was told I had 388 votes. So actually it is no telling how many votes I actually got.
These people in Mississippi State, they are not "down";
all they need is a chance. And I am determined to give my part not for what the Movement can do for me, but what I can do for the Movement to bring about a change in the State of Mississippi.
The people at home will work hard and actually all of them think it was important that we hade the decision that we did make not to compromise; because we didn't have anything to compromise for.
... some of my people could have been left [in Africa] and are living there. And I can't understand them and they don't know me and I don't know them because all we had was taken away from us. And I became kind of angry; I felt the anger of why this had to happen to us. We were so stripped and robbed of our background, we wind up with nothing.
We serve God by serving our fellow man;
kids are suffering from malnutrition. People are going to the fields hungry. If you are a Christian, we are tired of being mistreated.
This problem is not only in Mississippi.
During the time I was in the Convention in Atlantic City, I didn't get any threats from Mississippi. The threatening letters were from Philadelphia, Chicago and other big cities.
I met one child there eleven years old, speaking three languages [in Guinea].
He could speak English, French and Malinke. Speaking my language actually better than I could. And this hypocrisy - they tell us here in America [ that black people can't be intelligent].
In coming to Atlantic City, we believed strongly that we were right.
In fact, it was just right for us to come to challenge the seating of the regular Democratic Party from Mississippi. But we didn't think when we got there that we would meet people, that actually the other leaders of the Movement would differ with what we felt was right.
All of this is on account we want to register [sic], to become first-class citizens, and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings - in America?
When I liberate others, I liberate myself.
A black woman's body was never hers alone.
No. What would I look like fighting for equality with the white man? I don't want to go down that low. I want the true democracy that'll raise me and that white man up raise America up.
I went almost naked to see that my mother was kept decent and treated as a human being for the first time in all of her life.
[My mother] tried so hard to make life easy for us.
Those are the things that forced me to try to do something different and when this Movement came to Mississippi I still feel it is one of the greatest things that ever happened because only a person living in the State of Mississippi knows what it is like to suffer; knows what it is like to be hungry; knows what it is like to have no clothing to wear.
We have to build our own power. We have to win every single political office we can, where we have a majority of black people... The question for black people is not, when is the white man going to give us our rights, or when is he going to give us good education for our children, or when is he going to give us jobs-if the white man gives you anything-just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves.
I used to question this for years - what did our kids actually fight for? They would go in the service and go through all of that and come right out to be drowned in a river in Mississippi. I found this hypocrisy is all over America.
I was treated much better in Africa than I was treated in America.
And you see, often I get letters like this: "Go back to Africa."
I believe in Christianity because the Scriptures said: "The things that have been done in the dark will be known on the house tops."
You know what really made me sick? I was in Washington, D.
C. at another time reading in a paper where the U.S. gives Byron de la Beckwith - the man who is charged with murdering Medgar Evers - they were giving him so much money for some land and I ask "Is this America?" We can no longer ignore the fact that America is NOT the "land of the free and the home of the brave."
But you see now baby, whether you have a ph.
d., d.d. or no d, we're in this bag together. And whether you are from Morehouse or Nohouse, we,re still in this bag together.