Fannie Lou Hamer: The Civil Rights Icon Who Embraced Youth Power

By Keisha N. Blain, Member in the School of Social Science:

"Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer loved young people. She loved to be around them and loved to work with them, emphasizing their vitality, vision, and ability to lead. Her approach to working with younger activists was grounded in the belief that age, education, and experience were not prerequisites to political leadership. For this reason, she resisted the idea that leadership opportunities should be reserved for the few, making every effort to encourage and empower young people in the movement.

Hamer, a disabled, working-class, Black woman, was born in Mississippi in 1917 and joined the Civil Rights Movement in 1962. In August of that year, she attended a mass meeting at William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church organized by members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). With the assistance of veteran organizer Ella Baker, SNCC had been established in April 1960, at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina."

Read more at Teen Vogue.