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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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Federal Trial Testimony, Oxford, Mississippi, December 2, 1963

Federal Trial Testimony, Oxford, Mississippi, December 2, 1963

(p.7) Federal Trial Testimony, Oxford, Mississippi, December 2, 1963
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

On June 9, 1963, Fannie Lou Hamer, along with five other companions, while traveling back to the Mississippi Delta after a week-long voter education workshop in Charleston, South Carolina, were arrested by Winona and Montgomery County officials, who were not keen on heeding the 1961 Interstate Commerce Commission ruling that effectively integrated interstate travel. In the local jailhouse, two black prisoners—Sol Poe and Roosevelt Knox—beat up Hamer. The beating, according to Hamer, was provoked by her civil rights activism back home in Ruleville. The Justice Department took an interest in the case and eventually filed suit against William Surrell, John L. Basinger, Earle Wayne Patridge, Thomas J. Herod, Jr., and Charles Thomas Perkins. As the star witness, Hamer testified in Oxford on December 2, 1963. Despite her testimony and the damning evidence provided by her travel companions, the accused were acquitted by the twelve-member all-white and all-male jury. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s federal trial testimony in Oxford.

Keywords:   civil rights, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi, Winona, Interstate Commerce Commission, interstate travel, testimony, trial

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