The Civil Rights Activist Who Fought For Black Liberation Through Food Justice

fannie lou hamer
Briona Lamback
March 4, 2022

Fannie Lou Hamer’s family was on the up and up. They went from sharecropping to owning a farm! But one day, they returned home to find their cows had been EXECUTED! 

Who would do such a thing?

It turned out a jealous white neighbor had snuck onto their property and poisoned their livestock, ruining their years of hard work and forcing them back into sharecropping. 

Hamer remained haunted by the destruction for years – but decided that, one day, she’d do something about it. And that’s exactly what she did.

In 1967, after saving for years, Hamer purchased 40 acres in the Mississippi Delta and launched the Freedom Farm Cooperative – an opportunity for Black people to be self-reliant and build something together. 

It was a sprawling oasis of fresh foods, where folks lived and worked, grew their own food, and protected each other from white terrorism.

Hamer wanted us to get it on our own because she knew firsthand there was freedom in farming. She believed the only way we could survive was to have control of our lives

Her legacy continues to be a call-to-action for us globally – today, only 1.3% of U.S. farmers are Black. In South Africa, Black people are STILL fighting for their land back from white colonizers.

We don’t have to struggle for a slice of THEIR pie. Like Hamer, we must commit to self-determination, and the power of Black community, to truly be free!

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