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This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
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This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  21 reviews

WITH A FOREWORD BY MARION WRIGHT EDELMAN The award-winning biography of black civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. "Riveting. Provides a history that helps us to understand the choices made by so many black men and women of Hamer's generation, who somehow found the courage to join a movement in which they risked everything." —New York Times Book Review "One is forced to

Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Plume (first published January 1st 1993)
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Maya B
3.5 stars. I finally got around to reading this book. Fannie Lou Hamer was an amazing woman. Had she lived past the age of 59 she would have done so much more. I love reading about the civil rights era and I cant believe I have never read anything about her until now. Even with all the civil rights movies still no mention of her. She is definitly an unsung civil rights leader. She did so much for the movement and as I write this I just can't believe there is not a movie or documentary about her ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
What extraordinary lives some seemingly ordinary people lead! Fannie Lou Townsend Hamer has always been a heroine of ours; This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer merely served to cement our certainty of the greatness of her strong and indomitable spirit. From her birth as the twentieth child of poor Mississippi sharecroppers, through her life as first a victim and then a champion of victim's rights and a leader of the civil rights movement, Kay Mills left no stone in Mrs. Hamer' ...more
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best biographies I have ever read! Fannie Lou Hamer was an amazing woman and Kay Mills did an excellent job of telling her story.
Mikey B.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an inspirational book on a Civil Rights activist who was poor, a woman and oppressed. At the end of her life in Mississippi she was able to vote and participate in democracy, but she was still poor. Fannie Lou Hamer became active in the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960’s when activists were attempting to urge local Mississippi African American citizens to register to vote. Fannie Lou Hamer decided to exercise her democratic rights and never looked back. It is an awe-inspiring sto ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nonsequiteuse by: On the curriculum in Annelise Orleck's history class at Dartmouth
Once you read about this amazing, inspiring woman, shame on you if you ever skip voting on election day. This intense woman, a Mississippi Delta sharecropper, embodies what it means to be a patriot and an American.

I'm so proud of the kids in the Sunflower County Freedom Project ( who are carrying out her legacy of education, direct action, and social engagement.
Aaron S
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Years later, she recalled jumping off moving trucks full of workers "to retrieve newspapers and pieces of magazines caught in the cotton along dirt roads between fields and of picking through the trash behind the big house just to have something – anything – in print to read."
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fannie Lou Hamer was a remarkable woman for the times she lived in. I recommend this book to anyone who is even a little bit interested in the history of the civil rights movement. She was one of the unsung heroes of the time. She wasn't as famous as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. However her accomplishments were just as heroic.

She was a leader in the civil rights movement and a philanthropist. Although she kept her activities local to Mississippi, she was instrumental in organizing the Missi
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reading this book brought the sobering realization that my life growing up was one of relative affluence and privilege while others during that same time in Mississippi and elsewhere were struggling and giving their lives for the right to vote and put food on their tables.

Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer was a fierce and dedicated community organizer and leader in the 60's and 70's who's story should be known by all Americans. "If Fannie Lou Hamer had had the same opportunities that Martin Luther King had
Apr 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-history
Fascinating subject, well-researched, average writing. As a US History teacher I appreciated adding detail and nuance to my understanding of the Civil Rights Movement and to the history of white supremacy. Fannie Lou Hamer was an amazing women. The book itself is a narrative biography that reads like journalism. Kay Mills, a veteran reporter, deploys her skills well in gathering information and anecdotes about Mrs. Hamer, but the resulting narration can be plodding at times.
May 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biographies
A great biography that is well suited for a general audience.
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
An inspiring and detailed biography well worth the read!
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned and developed a new appreciation for Ms.Hamer after reading this book. In school I heard and read books that mentioned her but this book told her story with great detail.
Oct 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sistas Of All Hues
An incredible read.
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I actually read the updated 2011 version of this book. So glad to finally get a more full story of this woman!
Doris Raines
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I. Love. This. Book.
Ben Truong
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer is a biography of Fannie Lou Hamer, who is a noted civil rights activist. Kay Mills was a journalist and author of five non-fiction books who revived the nearly-lost stories of women journalists and civil rights icons, wrote this biography.

Fannie Lou Hamer (née Townsend) 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 Dem
Sarah Morenon
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Written by a reporter, not the usual sort of biography, but it's all there, the backstory of why my hero, Fannie Lou Hamer, became the fighter for justice in America's 1950s and 1960s. I wish everyone knew Mrs, Hamer's story.
Sonia Allison
Jan 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Is insulting to Mrs. Hamer from the first page. Is written from an entrenched white perspective. Is unredeemable bad
and ought to not be inflicted
on any of us. Way entirely disappointed.
Mark Weatherley
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book gives a good sense of her life and times in the Mississippi delta - she really was a powerful force for the rights of her community.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
"But I'm gonna stay in Mississippi, and if they shoot me down, I'll be buried here."

This is an incredibly informative and rich biography of the great Fannie Lou Hamer.

I appreciate that the author goes out of her way to talk about being a white woman writing about such a remarkable black woman. This book not only gives us a sense of what a rich and dedicated person Ms. Hamer was but also how truly difficult life was for the African American community. It is not as long ago as people like to think
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A deeply inspiring biography of one of the great unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. Mrs. Hamer was an amazing woman.
Cynthia Sillitoe
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May 29, 2017
Maryam Louise
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James Nelson
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