Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that, despite President Johnson’s interference, aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to support the Freedom Democrats. Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer’s life and legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength. Ages 9–12.
About The Author
The daughter of educators, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford began writing in first grade. Today she is the author of numerous books, including the Carter G. Woodson award winning title, The Sound That Jazz Makes and most recently, Dear Mr. Rosenwald. Her writing covers such topics as jazz and photography, as well as the slavery, reconstruction and Jim Crow eras. When she’s not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. Coming from a family of educators, she has a passion for rescuing events and figures from obscurity by documenting American history. A Fayetteville State University professor, Carole lives with her husband, son, and daughter in High Point, North Carolina.
Read Aloud Tips
- Create a reading theme around the author, who has published many social justice titles. Read her bio and have students make similarities between her books.
- Incorporate this book into a unit about Civil Rights. Have students make comparisons to that period to today’s political and cultural landscape.
- Have students define the term social justice leader and ask them to come up with characteristics that leaders may possess.
“A welcome addition to civil rights literature for children … Hamer’s determination, perseverance, and unwavering resolve come through on every page. Holmes’ quiltlike collage illustrations emphasize the importance Hamer placed on community among African-Americans. Young readers who open this book with just a vague notion of who Fannie Lou Hamer was will wonder no more after absorbing this striking portrait of the singer and activist. Bold, honest, informative, and unforgettable.” – Kirkus Reviews