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Fannie Lou Hamer

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Submitted By mcastillo2
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acial and social rights were the largest debate in America throughout the 20th century, and since the issues were so great America saw major achievements in social reforms on all fronts. Generally the leaders of these movements were educated middle class white women, like Betty Friedan, and Alice Paul. Although these women were major contributors to the cause, they claimed to be victims of the oppression of male dominance, but the privileged white women doesn’t even come close to the social inequalities and injustices dealt to women like Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer was a victim of racial and sexual discrimination from the day she was born. Although Hamer was born into a lower class, slave like family, she refused to become a victim of the system and rose to become a prominent figure for the rights of all black people especially women.
As stated previously most rights activists came from middle class families who were sent through a college education. Whereas Fannie Lou Hamer was born into a family of share croppers, and was the last of twenty children. Obviously Hamer grew up in an extremely poor household, and she ended up dropping out of school to work full time on the fields with her family. In the 1950’s Hamer became a victim to one of her major forms of injustice, “She went into a hospital to have a small cyst in her stomach removed, only to wake up and find that she had been given a hysterectomy.” (Lee 21). Without her permission, a doctor had taken one of the most valued privileges the right to reproduce. Although Hamer did not speak out much about this injustice, it did incite her to attend her first Civil Rights Meeting by James Forman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and James Bevel of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. These meetings brought a consciousness that the African-American population needed to unite and obtain their right to vote.

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