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Fannie Lou Hamer Quotes Expressing the Power of Voice

Our latest collection of Fannie Lou Hamer quotes that will inspire you to remain committed to all struggles you believe in.

Fannie Lou Hamer was an African-American civil rights activist who led voting drives and helped establish the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was also the co-founder and vice-chair of the Freedom Democratic Party.

Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights and helped focus attention on the plight of black citizens throughout the South.

Born on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi, Hamer grew up in poverty left school to work by age 12. She got involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, a time when black voters were disenfranchised in the southern states.

During the course of her activist career, Hamer was threatened, harassed, arrested, assaulted, and shot at. But none of these things ever stopped her from battling racism and poverty. We could learn a lot from her example as we strive to overcome our own adversities.

Hamer died on March 14, 1977, leaving behind a legacy as tireless champion for racial equality. In 1993, she was posthumously inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

In honor of what she did for our nation, below is our collection of inspirational, brave, and courageous Fannie Lou Hamer quotes, collected from various sources over the years.

Fannie Lou Hamer quotes expressing the power of voice

1. “If I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I’m not backing off.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

2. “If the white man gives you anything – just remember when he gets ready he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves.” –  Fannie Lou Hamer

3. “One day, I know the struggle will change. There’s got to be a change – not only for Mississippi, not only for the people in the United States, but people all over the world.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

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4. “There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.” –  Fannie Lou Hamer

5. “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer quotes expressing the power of voice

6. “People have got to get together and work together. I’m tired of the kind of oppression that white people have inflicted on us and are still trying to inflict.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

7. “You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

8. “When I liberate myself, I liberate others. If you don’t speak out ain’t nobody going to speak out for you.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

9. “Never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

10. “I always said if I lived to get grown and had a chance, I was going to try to get something for my mother and I was going to do something for the black man of the South if it would cost my life; I was determined to see that things were changed.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer quotes that will inspire you to stand for what you believe in

11. “We didn’t come all the way up here to compromise for no more than we’d gotten here. We didn’t come all this way for no two seats, ’cause all of us is tired.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

12. “This white man who is saying “it takes time.” For three hundred and more years they have had “time,” and now it is time for them to listen.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

13. “To support whatever is right, and to bring in justice where we’ve had so much injustice.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

14. “If you give a hungry man food, he will eat it. [But] if you give him land, he will grow his own food.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

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15. “It is our right to stay here and we will stay and stand up for what belongs to us as American citizens, because they can’t say that we haven’t had patience.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

16. “I’m showing the people that a Negro can run for office.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer quotes that will inspire you to stand for what you believe in

17. “I believe in Christianity because the Scriptures said: “The things that have been done in the dark will be known on the house tops.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

18. “That’s why I want to change Mississippi. You don’t run away from problems – you just face them.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

19. “These people in Mississippi State, they are not “down”; all they need is a chance. And I am determined to give my part not for what the Movement can do for me, but what I can do for the Movement to bring about a change in the State of Mississippi.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

20. “Actually, the world and America is upset and the only way to bring about a change is to upset it more.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

More Fannie Lou Hamer quotes and sayings

21. “When I liberate others, I liberate myself.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

22. “I used to question this for years – what did our kids actually fight for? They would go in the service and go through all of that and come right out to be drowned in a river in Mississippi. I found this hypocrisy is all over America.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

23. “Actually, some of the things I experienced as a child still linger on; what the white man has done to the black people in the south!” – Fannie Lou Hamer

24. “We didn’t come all this way for no two seats when all of us is tired.” –Fannie Lou Hamer

25. “A white man killed the mules and our cows that knocked us right back down. And things got so tough then I began to wish I was white.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

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26. “Just because people are fat, it doesn’t mean they are well fed. The cheapest foods are the fattening ones, not the most nourishing.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

27. “We are here to work side-by-side with this “black” man in trying to bring liberation to all our people!” – Fannie Lou Hamer

28. “It would bring tears in your eyes to make you think of all those years, the type of brain-washing that this man will use in America to keep us separated from our own people.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

29. “My parents tried so hard to do what they could to keep us in school, but school didn’t last but four months out of the year and most of the time we didn’t have clothes to wear.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

30. “I am determined to get every Negro in the state of Mississippi registered.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

31. “I was treated much better in Africa than I was treated in America. And you see, often I get letters like this: “Go back to Africa.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

Which of these Fannie Lou Hamer quotes was your favorite?

Though her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement often left her in harm’s way, Fannie Lou Hamer did not relent in her fight for racial equality. Her spirit was unbowed, and her voice became more powerful and influential.

Hamer’s voice could not be ignored. She did not shy away from the dangers of challenging segregation and inspired almost everyone who encountered her. Hopefully, the above quotes will help you find the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

Did you enjoy these Fanie Lou Hamer quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Tell us in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. Judith Williams

    April 26, 2021 at 3:58 PM

    “Never forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.”

  2. Patrick Nelson

    June 12, 2020 at 7:01 AM

    “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”

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