Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV + Encores Wednesday, Feb 23 at 9 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand
AMERICA REFRAMED ushers in its milestone 10th season with the world premiere of "Fannie Lou Hamer’s America." Produced by Hamer’s great-niece Monica Land and Selena Lauterer and directed by Joy Davenport, the captivating portrait of one of the civil rights era’s preeminent icons through her own speeches, interviews and songs follows Hamer’s life from the cotton fields of Mississippi to the halls of Congress.
“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave?” With those words at the 1964 Democratic Convention, Fannie Lou Hamer changed the course of Civil Rights forever. By working in the cotton fields of Mississippi from the age of six, Fannie Lou Hamer was keenly aware of the racial injustices that forced her family to labor so much while earning so little.
Encouraged by her participation in groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Fannie Lou Hamer devoted herself to voter enfranchisement and increasing Black political representation. Her efforts would mobilize thousands of Black people to register to vote and inspire her historical run for Senate.
"Fannie Lou Hamer's America" explores and celebrates the lesser-known life of a Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist and one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders. Through the layering of audio recordings and archival video footage of her powerful speeches, soul-stirring songs and impassioned pleas for equal rights, Fannie Lou Hamer tells her extraordinary story in her own words.
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Atlantic City, N.J., Aug. 10, 1964. The 1964 Democratic Convention. Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegates challenge Mississippi Democrats. Fannie Lou Hamer, center, sings during a MFDP rally on the boardwalk, along with, from left, Emory Harris, Stokely Carmichael (straw hat), Sam Block, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ella Baker.
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Atlantic City, N.J., Aug. 10, 1964. MFDP delegates challenge Mississippi Democrats at Democratic Convention. Inside Convention hall: Fannie Lou Hamer and Bob Moses assess the Mississippi seating situation.
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Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer of Ruleville, Miss., speaks to Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party sympathizers outside the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 17, 1965, after the House of Representatives rejected a challenger to the 1964 election of five Mississippi representatives. Mrs. Hamer and two other African American women were seated on the floor of the House while the challenge was being considered. She said, "We'll come back year after year until we are allowed our rights as citizens." The challengers claimed that African American were excluded from the election process in Mississippi. (AP Photo/William J. Smith)
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Fannie Lou Hamer (undated photo)
By Jim Peppler/Southern Courier, Alabama Department of Archives and History
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FBI photo of Fannie Lou Hamer (undated)
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G. Marshall Wilson/Mandatory Credit Ebony Collection. National Museum of African American History and Culture
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Fannie Lou Hamer (undated photo)
Credit:Bruce Harvey/Delta Ministry, Fannie Lou Hamer papers, Amistad Research Center, New Orleans, LA.
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Aug. 25,1964, Atlantic City, N.J. at the Convention Hall, Mrs. Fannie Hamer, member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, was one of the exciting highlights of the National Democratic Convention. Here, she walks firmly toward the convention hall entrance, to which she and other members of her group were finally admitted.
"Fannie Lou Hamer's America: An AMERICA REFRAMED Special" explores and celebrates the lesser-known life of a Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist and one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders. Throughout the 1960s, Fannie Lou Hamer established a legacy of civil rights and human rights activism that remains relevant to this day – especially among Black youth.The virtual panel will see actress Aunjanue Ellis ("Sunflower: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story," "King Richard") and author Dr. Keisha Blain ("Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America") join Hamer’s great-niece Monica Land and director Joy Davenport in a conversation moderated by AMERICA REFRAMED Executive Producer Erika Dilday. The event is open to the public and presented in partnership with Black Public Media, will explore Hamer’s legacy of activism and what can young activists learn from her. Feb. 15, 2022 at Noon PT (3 p.m. ET)Join the discussion: REGISTER NOW The film premieres Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV + Encores Wednesday, Feb 23 at 9 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand with the PBS Video AppA copresentation of WORLD Channel, PBS and Black Public Media.
“Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special” broadcasts on KPBS TV on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV + Encores Wednesday, Feb 23 at 9 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11 p.m. on KPBS 2.
Jen is a web producer at KPBS, responsible for program promotion, online membership-related activities, and is the editor of the KPBS community calendar. Jen has worked at KPBS since 2000. She is originally from Las Vegas and attended UNLV.