The Fannie Lou Hamer Story One – Woman Play

Saturday, January 26, 2019 7:00PM
Old Cabell Hall

The Fannie Lou Hamer Story One – Woman Play
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Performed in Old Cabell Hall, on Grounds at UVA

Presented by the Office of African American Affairs and the Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity & Equity

"The Fannie Lou Hamer Story," a one-woman musical starring Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye, will tell the story of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and how her work helped lead to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Ms. Aimbaye is celebrating her 16th year resurrecting the indomitable spirit of Fannie Lou Hamer. She endeavors to establish THE FANNIE LOU HAMER VOTER RECOGNITION DAY, to remember the lives of so many that subjected themselves to violence and murder for the right to vote. Exuding the power of a warrior when she speaks and the voice of an angel when she sings, audiences become transfixed in the 60’s civil rights struggle, experiencing the emotional highs, lows, twists and turns of the courageous spirit and determination of Mrs. Hamer. Ms. Aimbaye travels the country with her signature performance in theaters, churches, high schools, colleges, universities and civic organizations. The show has become a backdrop for voter registration wherever it is performed, leaving audiences inspired and spellbound showing how current events hauntingly mirror the Civil Rights Movement fifty years ago!

Fannie Lou Hamer, known for being “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” was born October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi. She was the granddaughter of slaves. Her family was sharecroppers – a position not different from slavery. On 1962 when Hamer was 44 years old, Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) volunteers came to town and held a voter registration meeting. She was surprised to learn that African Americans actually had a constitutional right to vote. She further discovered that voter registration allowed for a jury pool to ensure African Americans would be judged by a jury of their peers. When the SNCC members asked for volunteers to go to the courthouse to register to vote, Hamer was the first to raise her hand. This was a dangerous decision. She later reflected, “The only thing they could do to me was kill me, and it seemed like they’d been trying to do that a little bit at a time ever since I could remember.”