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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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“The Only Thing We Can Do Is to Work Together,”

“The Only Thing We Can Do Is to Work Together,”

Speech Delivered at a Chapter Meeting of the National Council of Negro Women in Mississippi, 1967

Chapter:
(p.70) “The Only Thing We Can Do Is to Work Together,”
Source:
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer
Author(s):

Maegan Parker Brooks

Davis W. Houck

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604738223.003.0008

The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, along with the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty, affected the way Fannie Lou Hamer delivered her speeches. In the late 1960s, Hamer discarded personal narratives, in which she highlighted the cruelties and violence of Mississippi’s white supremacist culture, in favor of new rhetorical strategies and tactics for bureaucratic and electoral ends. In early 1967, Hamer spoke at a chapter meeting of the National Council of Negro Women in Mississippi. This chapter reproduces Hamer’s speech, in which she continues to criticize the educated middle-class blacks’ alliances with “chicken-eating” black ministers and white power brokers. Hamer specifically attacked the Sunflower County Progress Inc., a coalition of moderate blacks and whites that sought to attract Head Start monies from the federal government and would compete directly with the Child Development Group of Mississippi, with whom Hamer was aligned.

Keywords:   speech, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi, National Council of Negro Women, blacks, Sunflower County Progress Inc., Child Development Group of Mississippi

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