As we celebrate Black History Month, there are countless events, people and groups that are worthy of our time and reflection. As a Christian organization that desires to see all people flourish, we want to recognize the lives and work of Christians in Black History. One example is Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black woman from Mississippi. She was a Civil Rights activist who was part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
In the upcoming episode of We All Need Each Other with author and historian Jemar Tisby, you'll see a photo of Hamer behind Tisby. He even points to Hamer and others like her as distant mentors because of their faith and tireless work for justice.
Hamer spoke to Congress during Freedom Summer (1964), sharing some of the cruelty and abuse she had faced while trying to gain the right to vote.
In Dante Stewart's article, Singin' Us to Glory, he wrote:
Fannie Lou loved those good ol’ doctrines of the Gospel. She shared, “Christianity is being concerned about [others], not building a million-dollar church while people are starving right around the corner. Christ was a revolutionary person, out there where it was happening.”
Strengthened by her faith and her belief that all people are equally created in the image of God, Hamer endured many hardships, challenges, setbacks and defeats, but pressed on in the fight for racial justice.
Please take a few minutes to listen to Hamer's Congressional testimony and read Stewart's article which highlights Hamer's Christian example.