Introduction: "I don't mind my light shining" -- A rhetorical education, 1917-1962 -- Through the shadows of death, 1962-1964 -- "Is this America?" 1964 -- "The country's number one freedom fighting woman," 1964-1968 -- "To tell it like it is," 1968-1972 -- The problems and the progress -- Afterword: "We ain't free yet; the kids need to know their mission," 2012
"A sharecropper, a warrior, and a truth-telling prophet, Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) stands as a powerful symbol not only of the 1960s black freedom movement, but also of the enduring human struggle against oppression. A Voice That Could Stir an Army is a rhetorical biography that tells the story of Hamer's life by focusing on how she employed symbols-- images, words, and even material objects such as the ballot, food, and clothing--to construct persuasive public personae, to influence audiences, and to effect social change. Drawing upon dozens of newly recovered Hamer texts and recent interviews with Hamer's friends, family, and fellow activists, Maegan Parker Brooks moves chronologically through Hamer's life. Brooks recounts Hamer's early influences, her intersection with the black freedom movement, and her rise to prominence at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Brooks also considers Hamer's lesser-known contributions to the fight against poverty and to feminist politics before analyzing how Hamer is remembered posthumously. The book concludes by emphasizing what remains rhetorical about Hamer's biography, using the 2012 statue and museum dedication in Hamer's hometown of Ruleville, Mississippi, to examine the larger social, political, and historiographical implications of her legacy. The sustained consideration of Hamer's wide-ranging use of symbols and the reconstruction of her legacy provided within the pages of A Voice That Could Stir an Army enrich understanding of this key historical figure. This book also demonstrates how rhetorical analysis complements historical reconstruction to explain the dynamics of how social movements actually operate."--Publisher information.
Introduction: Showing love and telling it like it is : the rhetorical practices of Fannie Lou Hamer -- "I don't mind my light shining," speech delivered at a Freedom Vote rally in Greenwood, Mississippi, Fall 1963 -- Federal trial testimony, Oxford, Mississippi, December 2, 1963 -- Testimony before a select panel on Mississippi and civil rights, Washington, D.C., June 8, 1964 -- Testimony before the credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 22, 1964 -- "We're on our way," speech delivered at a mass meeting in Indianola, Mississippi, September 1964 -- "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," speech delivered with Malcolm X at the Williams Institutional CME Church, Harlem, New York, December 20, 1964 -- Testimony before the Subcommittee on Elections of the Committee on House Administration, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., September 13, 1965 -- "The only thing we can do is work together," speech delivered at a chapter meeting of the National Council of Negro Women in Mississippi, 1967 -- "What have we to hail?," speech delivered in Kentucky, Summer 1968 -- Speech on behalf of the Alabama delegation at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 27, 1968 -- "To tell it like it is," speech delivered at the Holmes County, Mississippi, Freedom Democratic Party municipal election rally in Lexington, Mississippi, May 8, 1969 -- Testimony before the Democratic Reform Committee, Jackson, Mississippi, May 22, 1969 -- "To make democracy a reality," speech delivered at the Vietnam War moratorium rally, Berkeley, California, October 15, 1969 -- "America is a sick place and man is on the critical list," speech delivered at Loop College, Chicago, Illinois, May 27, 1970 -- "Until I am free, you are not free either," speech delivered at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, January 1971 -- "Is it too late?," speech delivered at Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi, Summer 1971 -- "Nobody's free until everybody's free," speech delivered at the founding of the National Women's Political Caucus, Washington, D.C., July 10, 1971 -- "If the name of the game is survive, survive," speech delivered in Ruleville, Mississippi, September 27, 1971 -- Seconding speech for the nomination of Frances Farenthold, delivered at the 1972 Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, July 13, 1972 -- Interview with Fannie Lou Hamer by Dr. Neil McMillen, April 14, 1972, and January 25, 1973, Ruleville, Mississippi : Oral History Program, University of Southern Mississippi -- "We haven't arrived yet," presentation and responses to questions at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, January 29, 1976 -- Appendix: Interview with Vergie Hamer Faulkner by Maegan Parker Brooks, July 14 and July 17, 2009
"Most people who have heard of Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) are aware of the impassioned testimony that this Mississippi sharecropper and civil rights activist delivered at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Far fewer people are familiar with the speeches Hamer delivered at the 1968 and 1972 conventions, to say nothing of addresses she gave closer to home, or with Malcolm X in Harlem, or even at the founding of the National Women's Political Caucus. Until now, dozens of Hamer's speeches have been buried in archival collections and in the basements of movement veterans. After years of combing library archives, government documents, and private collections across the country, Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck have selected twenty-one of Hamer's most important speeches and testimonies."--Amazon.