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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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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

“I Don’t Mind My Light Shining,”

“I Don’t Mind My Light Shining,”

Speech Delivered at a Freedom Vote Rally in Greenwood, Mississippi, Fall 1963

(p.2) (p.3) “I Don’t Mind My Light Shining,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

In the fall of 1963, Allard Lowenstein and Bob Moses organized a “mock election” called the Freedom Vote to show that disenfranchised black Mississippians would cast a ballot if given the opportunity. They fielded an integrated ticket composed of black Clarksdale pharmacist Aaron Henry and white Tougaloo College chaplain Reverend Edwin King to run for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. The people behind Freedom Vote also formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. By late October, the campaign had gathered momentum and publicity and Freedom Vote rallies were held across the state. One such rally took place in the town of Greenwood in the Mississippi, with Fannie Lou Hamer as a speaker. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she quoted extensively from the Bible to warn Mississippi blacks that they would go “straight to hell” with their oppressors if they did not take action and vote.

Keywords:   mock election, Freedom Vote, Aaron Henry, Edwin King, Mississippi, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, rallies, Fannie Lou Hamer, speech, blacks

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