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The Speeches of Fannie Lou HamerTo Tell It Like It Is$
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Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604738223

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604738223.001.0001

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“To Tell It Like It Is,”

“To Tell It Like It Is,”

Speech Delivered at the Holmes County, Mississippi, Freedom Democratic Party Municipal Elections Rally in Lexington, Mississippi, May 8, 1969

(p.86) “To Tell It Like It Is,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

In 1967, Fannie Lou Hamer played a role in ending seventy-four years of white-only rule in the Mississippi State Legislature when she helped Holmes County schoolteacher Robert G. Clark get elected to the state house of representatives. Clark won by a mere 116 votes over twelve-year incumbent James P. Love. On May 8, 1969, Hamer spoke at the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s (MFDP) municipal elections rally at the Holmes County Courthouse in Lexington. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she urged blacks to remember their past persecutions and to vote for MFDP’s black candidates. Hamer concludes her speech by addressing the thorny issues of gender and politics.

Keywords:   speech, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, municipal elections, rally, blacks, gender, politics, Mississippi

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