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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 Make Democracy a Reality,”

“To Make Democracy a Reality,”

Speech Delivered at the Vietnam War Moratorium Rally, Berkeley, California, October 15, 1969

(p.98) “To Make Democracy a Reality,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

In 1965, Fannie Lou Hamer was among a handful of individuals opposing U.S. involvement in Vietnam. By 1969, more than half of the country were against the Vietnam War, and antiwar protests began to intensify. On October 15, 1969, the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (New Mobe) organized the first major demonstration to protest the Nixon administration’s handling of the war. Held in Berkeley, California, New Mobe’s Vietnam War Moratorium Rally sparked demonstrations in cities across the country, joined by millions of Americans. Hamer was among the speakers at the Vietnam War Moratorium Rally, tying her opposition to the war to her lived experiences and exposing the link between U.S. foreign policy and domestic civil rights abuses. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she urged the government to redirect its efforts to feed those “suffering from malnutrition” instead of fighting for democracy abroad.

Keywords:   speech, Fannie Lou Hamer, Vietnam War, New Mobe, California, Vietnam War Moratorium Rally, demonstrations, foreign policy, civil rights

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