Walk with Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer

Oxford Univ. Sept. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780190096847. $27.95. BIOG
Larson (women’s studies, Brandeis Univ.; Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman) explores the life of Mississippi sharecropper and civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer in this gripping new book. Like she did with her biographies of Harriet Tubman and Rosemary Kennedy, Larson uncovers new sources to tell an in-depth, revelatory narrative about Hamer, who suffered immense hardships and political violence and became, against the odds, one of the most powerful leaders of the Southern Freedom Movement. When the college students of SNCC arrived in her hometown of Ruleville to encourage local residents to register to vote, Hamer became both an activist and a target of local white supremacists and law enforcement. Larson details Hamer’s arrest on a bus trip with other activists in Winona, MS, where she was beaten so badly that she was permanently disabled, and the months-long campaign to establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which led to Hamer’s famous speech at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Even after Hamer became an in-demand orator and ran for office in Mississippi, she was often derided by other civil rights leaders, including Roy Wilkins, and died in poverty.
VERDICT An inspiring read for activists fighting for voting rights and against racism.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing