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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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“We’re On Our Way,”

“We’re On Our Way,”

Speech Delivered at a Mass Meeting in Indianola, Mississippi, September 1964

(p.46) “We’re On Our Way,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

In early September 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer spoke at a mass meeting held in Indianola, Mississippi. Mass meetings, the format of which resembles that of a church service, featured religious sermons, freedom songs, and secular speeches and were a vital part of the black freedom movement’s grassroots contingent. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she encouraged the blacks of Mississippi to register and vote despite the risks by adopting two interrelated personae: that of a preacher and of a fellow community member. She challenged her audience to overcome their fears and realize their potential for activism.

Keywords:   speech, Fannie Lou Hamer, mass meeting, Mississippi, black freedom movement, blacks, vote, activism

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