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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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“America Is a Sick Place, and Man Is on the Critical List,”

“America Is a Sick Place, and Man Is on the Critical List,”

Speech Delivered at Loop College, Chicago, Illinois, May 27, 1970

(p.104) “America Is a Sick Place, and Man Is on the Critical List,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

In the spring of 1970, Fannie Lou Hamer was in Chicago’s Loop College as part of its “Decade of Civil Rights History, 1960–1970” speakers’ series. Founded in 1962, Loop College, now known as Harold Washington College, also honored Hamer with a Citizen’s Achievement Citation in recognition of her civil rights activism. This chapter reproduces the speech delivered by Hamer at Loop College on May 27, 1970. Hamer began by recounting daily acts of resistance to Mississippi’s Jim Crow way of life, as well as the physical violence she experienced following her failed first attempt at voter registration and the abuse she endured nine months later in Winona. For the first time, Hamer also explicitly detailed the sexual violence she encountered in the Montgomery County Jail in Winona on June 9, 1963.

Keywords:   speech, Fannie Lou Hamer, Chicago, Loop College, Mississippi, Jim Crow, voter registration, sexual violence, Montgomery County Jail, Winona

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