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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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“I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,”

“I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,”

Speech Delivered with Malcolm X at the Williams Institutional CME Church, Harlem, New York, December 20, 1964

(p.57) “I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,”
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

University Press of Mississippi

On December 20, 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X spoke at the Williams Institutional Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Harlem, New York, for a political rally in support of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s (MFDP) upcoming congressional challenge. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers also performed during the rally. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she recounts her personal experiences with oppression and challenged her black Harlem audience to recognize their own oppression. Hamer sought not only to garner support for the MFDP’s impending congressional challenge but also to direct national attention to the endemic racism in America. She argued that African Americans with relatively more rights and with more influence were not using their power to help African Americans with less.

Keywords:   speech, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, racism, African Americans, oppression

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