“Freedom Party – A Call to Action” as well as Fannie Lou Hamer biography and Marcus Garvey Quotations

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

This refusal of Negroes to take orders from one another is due largely to the fact that slaveholders taught their bondmen that they were as good as or better than any others and, therefore, should not be subjected to any member of their race. If they were to be subordinated to some one it should be to the white man of superior culture and social position. This keeps the whole race on a lower level, restricted to the atmosphere of trifles which do not concern their traducers. The greater things of life which can be attained only by wise leadership, then, they have no way to accomplish.

— Carter G. Woodson

Chokwe Lumumba, a former cabinet member of the Republic of New Africa, is now the Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.  As Africans are the largest voting bloc in New York City, if we come out in force, Michael Greys, a co-founder of Community Cop (see here), will be the next Mayor of New York City.  However, this requires us to Organize and take orders from other Africans, i.e. have leadership.  An Organization which tirelessly took our Race’s side against the European’s has been the United African Movement (see here).  They are the brainchild of the Freedom Party and in respecting Fannie Lou Hamer and Marcus Garvey, their efforts deserve our respect.  Please share Vera Osborn’s Call to Action.  Our fate rests in our hands.  It always has.

Freedom Party — A Call to Action

Hotep Brothers and Sisters!

Our time has come! We are at a crossroad to determine, define and claim our space in this city. Our Ancestors built it, we should run it! Our people are suffering, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. We must do whatever we can, to help create a new and just paradigm in city government and governing, one of which the needs of the people are paramount, such as: affordable housing; single payer health insurance; schools that nurture, teach the three R’s not how to take tests; and an END to stop, question and frisk!

If you attend a church or have fraternal or social affiliations, please contact the deacon, pastor and /or the appropriate person, and request an audience / speaking engagement for the Freedom Party candidates. Both candidates, Michael K. Greys for Mayor, Michael K. Lloyd for Public Advocate, will be on the ballot in the General Election, November 5, 2013.

If you receive an invitation for them to speak before their congregation, please contact Dr. Linda Guillabeaux at 917-947-8994 for a date of availability for the candidates.

Contributions and donations are welcomed.

Ever Forward, Backward Never!
The Struggle Continues.

Peace & Love
Sister Vera Osborn

Freedom Party – Steering Committee
Tel. No. 917-947-8994
Fax No. 917-947-8996
1061 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, N. Y. 112238
Hrs. 10am – 9pm

Fannie Lou Hamer Biography

(shared by Vera Osborn)

Fannie Lou Hamer

Nationality – African – American

Occupation – Civil Rights Activist

Narrative Essay – Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was an outspoken advocate for civil rights for African Americans.

Fannie Lou Hamer was born on October 6, 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi. Her parents were sharecroppers and farmed land on a plantation. Fannie was the last child of twenty children, six girls and fourteen boys. She contracted polio as a child and because there no vaccine for polio at the time, she was left with a limp. Although she was short and had a limp, her mother always told her to “stand up no matter what the odds.”

When she was two years old the family moved to Sunflower County, Mississippi, where Fannie resided for the rest of her life. At age six she joined the other family members working as a sharecropper picking cotton. At the age of six, she began picking cotton to help the family. She said, “By the time I was thirteen I was picking two and three hundred pounds.” Fannie only attended school after the harvest, which wasn’t for very long, she said, “My parents tried so hard to do what they could to keep us in school, but school [for black children] didn’t last but four months out of the year and most of the time we didn’t have clothes to wear. I dropped out of school after the sixth grade and cut cornstalks to help the family.” In spite of intensive labor the Townsends were always in need because sharecroppers had to give a portion of their crop, as well as repayment for seeds and supplies they had purchased on credit, to the owner of the land on which they toiled. One year, when their crop was especially bountiful, Jim Townsend, hoping that his family’s economic status would permanently improve, rented a parcel of land with a house and purchased some animals and farm implements to boost the farm’s productivity. The family’s hopes for prosperity were dashed, however, when a jealous white neighbor poisoned the Townsend’s animals. After her formal schooling ended, she continued to study and read the Bible under the direction of teachers at the Stranger’s Home Baptist Church. Fannie’s religious beliefs and training were dominant influences during her entire life. She regularly prayed that someday she would have the opportunity to do something to improve the condition of African Americans in Mississippi. Even though she did not obtain a formal education, she became a dynamic speaker and civil rights worker.

During the 1940s Fannie Lou married Perry “Pap” Hamer, who worked on the W.D. Marlow plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi. Fannie also worked for the Marlows, first as a sharecropper and then–after the owner learned that she was literate–as the timekeeper. In the evenings she cleaned the Marlow’s home. The Hamers supplemented their income by making liquor and operating a small saloon. Unable to have children of their own, the Hamers adopted two girls, Dorothy Jean and Vergie Ree.. Hamer was always concerned about the bad working conditions in the fields. She wanted to make changes, but at the time had no avenue for doing so.

During the 1960’s Fannie became interested in the civil rights movement. In 1962, when she was in her mid-forties, Hamer’s life changed drastically. She was invited to attend a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “Snick”) meeting at a church near her home. SNCC, an organization founded in 1960 by a group of young African Americans who used direct action such as sit-ins and other forms of civil disobedience as a means of ending segregation in the South, encouraged its workers to travel throughout the South to win grassroots support from African Americans. When Hamer heard the SNCC presentation she was convinced that the powerlessness of African Americans was based to a degree on their complacency and fear of white reprisals. She decided that no matter what the cost, she should try to register to vote. She remarked, “One day in early August, I heard that some young people had come to town teaching people how to register to vote. I have always wanted to do something to help myself and my race, but I did not know how to go about it. So, I went to one of the meetings in Ruleville. That night, I was showed how to fill out a form for registration. The next day, August 31, 1962, I went to Indianola, Mississippi to fill out a form at the registrar’s office. I took the test.” Though her first attempts to pass the voter registration test were unsuccessful, they nevertheless resulted in the loss of her job, and threats of violence against her and those who attempted to register with her, for trying to alter the status quo .

During this time, African-Americans were deterred from voting in the South. When Hamer and others from her city went to register to vote, they were asked to interpret the state’s constitution. So, naturally, being unable to do so, Hamer flunked and was not allowed to register to vote. On the return trip home, the bus in which she and the others were riding was stopped for being “the wrong color.” She and the others were jailed and later released. She was regularly threatened and faced beatings, a bombing, and ridicule.This sort of harassment was a typical experience for blacks in the South. When she returned home, Marlow, her landowner gave her an ultimatum, either stop trying to vote or leave his property. Hamer chose to leave the property and her family. Her husband remained on the property to continue working. Hamer stayed with various friends and neighbors. At each house in which she was staying, night riders caused violence.

In 1963, after her third attempt, Hamer passed the test and became a registered voter. In order to assist other African-Americans in registering to vote, Hamer became a field secretary for SNCC and traveled across the South. On June 9, 1963, during one of the trips to South Carolina, the bus in which she and other SNCC workers was riding was stopped in Winona, Mississippi. When some of the workers went into the “white only” waiting room, the whole group was arrested. While in custody, Hamer and other workers were beaten unmercifully. Hamer suffered extreme injuries, which bothered her throughout the rest of her life. She said of the incident:

“Three white men came into my room. One was a state highway policeman…They said they were going to make me wish I was dead. They made me lay down on my face and they ordered two Negro prisoners to beat me with a blackjack. That was unbearable. The first prisoner beat me until he was exhausted, then the second Negro began to beat me….They beat me until I was hard, ’til I couldn’t bend my fingers or get up when they told me to. That’s how I got this blood clot in my eye–the sight’s nearly gone now. My kidney was injured from the blows they gave me on the back. They beat me and they beat me with the long, flat black-jack. I screamed to God in pain….”

SNCC lawyers bailed her and the others out and filed suit against the Winona police. All the whites who were charged were found not guilty. This injustice made Hamer more determined to fight for equal rights in Mississippi. She is famous for the words she said when she awoke in the mornings, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

She was a founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), formed in April 1964, an election year, to challenge the all-white Mississippi delegation to the Democratic National Convention. The MFDP sent 68 representatives in August 1964 to the Democratic National Committee meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hamer was one of the representatives who testified before the party’s Credentials Committee. In a televised presentation, Hamer talked about the formidable barriers that southern African Americans faced in their struggle for civil rights and about the injustices of the all-white Democratic delegation. She talked about the murders of civil rights activists such as Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. “If the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America,” she said. “Is this America? The land of the free and the home of the brave? Where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hook, because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” Hamer discussed the abuse she had suffered in retaliation for attending a civil rights meeting As a compromise measure the Democratic Party leadership offered the MFDP delegation two seats, which they refused. Hamer said, “We didn’t come for no two seats when all of us is tired.” And no MFDP member was seated. In 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights act, empowering federal registrars to register African American votes in the South.

In 1965 Hamer, Victoria Gray, and Annie Devine ran for Congress and challenged the seating of the regular Mississippi representatives before the U.S. House of Representatives. Though they were unsuccessful in their challenge, the 1965 elections were later overturned. Hamer continued to be politically active and from 1968 to 1971 was a member of the Democratic National Committee from Mississippi. She became a sought after national speaker and worked to unite the black and white factions of the Mississippi Democratic Party. In 1965, “Mississippi” magazine named her one of six “Women of Influence” in the state. Hamer continued to work to better conditions in Mississippi by organizing grass-roots anti – poverty projects.

She was a catalyst in the development of various programs to aid the poor in her community, including the Delta Ministry, an extensive community development program. In 1969, she founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative a non-profit operation designed to help needy families raise food and livestock,in which 5,000 people were able to grow their own food and own 680 acres of land, provide social services, encourage minority business opportunities, and offer educational assistance. In 1970, Hamer became chair of the Board of Fannie Lou Hamer Day Care Center, an organization established by the National Council of Negro Women. She also served as a member of the boards of the Sunflower County Day Care and Family Services Center and Garment Manufacturing Plant. In 1972, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus and was amember of the policy council, and from 1974 to 1977 was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. During the last ten years of her life, she worked on issues such as school desegregation, child day-care, and low-income housing.

Hamer underwent a radical mastectomy in 1976 and died of cancer March 14, 1977, in the Mound Bayou, MississippiHospital. Many civil rights leaders and workers attended her funeral. One of the many who spoke at the funeral was Andrew Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, he said, “Women were the spine of our movement. It was women going door-to-door, speaking with their neighbors, meeting in voter-registration classes together, organizing through their churches, that gave the vital momentum and energy to the movement. Mrs. Hamer was special but she was also representative…She shook the foundations of this nation.”

 Marcus Garvey Quotes

(Shared by Vera Osborn)

  • A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
  • A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.
  • Africa for the Africans… at home and abroad!
  • Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.
  • God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.
  • I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
  • I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free.
  • I like honesty and fair play.
  • I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together.
  • If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.
  • Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.
  • Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm.
  • Look to Africa, for there a king will be crowned.
  • Men who are in earnest are not afraid of consequences.
  • Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves. And the nation can be nowhere else but in Africa.
  • Progress is the attraction that moves humanity.
  • The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.
  • The whole world is run on bluff.
  • There is no force like success, and that is why the individual makes all effort to surround himself throughout life with the evidence of it; as of the individual, so should it be of the nation.
  • There shall be no solution to this race problem until you, yourselves, strike the blow for liberty.
  • Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will.
  • Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do.
  • With confidence, you have won before you have started.
  • You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a
  • Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying.

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