Fannie Lou Hamer (/ˈheɪmər/; née Townsend; October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting and women's rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement. She was the co-founder and vice-chair of the Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Hamer also organized Mississippi's Freedom Summer along with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was also a co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, an organization created to recruit, train, and support women of all races who wish to seek election to government office.Read about Fannie Lou Hamer in Wikipedia
I got pictures of us and they would draw big red rings around us and tell what they thought of us. I got a letter said, "I have been shot three times throught the heart. I hope I see your second act. " But this white man who wants to stay white, and to think for the Negro, he is not only destroying the Negro, he is destroying himself, because a house divided against itself cannot stand and that same thing applies to America.
I think there will be great leaders emerging from the State of Mississippi. The people that have the experience to know and the people not interested in letting somebody pat you on the back and tell us "I think it is right. " And it is very important for us not to accept a compromise and after I got back to Mississippi, people there said it was the most important step that had been taken.
. . . some of my people could have been left [in Africa] and are living there. And I can't understand them and they don't know me and I don't know them because all we had was taken away from us. And I became kind of angry; I felt the anger of why this had to happen to us. We were so stripped and robbed of our background, we wind up with nothing.
I have just as much right to stay in America - in fact, the black people have contributed more to America than any other race, because our kids have fought here for what was called "democracy"; our mothers and fathers were sold and bought here for a price. So all I can say when they say "go back to Africa," I say "when you send the Chinese back to China, the Italians back to Italy, etc. , and you get on that Mayflower from whence you came, and give the Indians their land back, who really would be here at home?"
We have to build our own power. We have to win every single political office we can, where we have a majority of black people. . . The question for black people is not, when is the white man going to give us our rights, or when is he going to give us good education for our children, or when is he going to give us jobs-if the white man gives you anything-just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves.
The President of Guinea, Sekou Toure, came to see us on the 13th. Now you know, I don't know how you can compare this by me being able to see a President of a country when I have just been there two days; and here I have been in America, born in America, and I am 46 years pleading with the President for the last two to three years to just give us a chance-and this President in Guinea recognized us enough to talk to us.