Willamette’s MLK celebration features screening of ‘Fannie Lou Hamer’s America’

by Adam Torgerson,

  • Fannie Lou Hamer speaking graphic

Filmmakers will answer audience questions following the show

On Friday, January 24 at 7 p.m. in Willamette University’s Rogers Music Center, creators of the hour-long documentary “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” will be on hand for an advanced screening of the film before answering questions from the audience. Two of the film’s contributors are professors within Willamette’s Department of Civic Communication and Media. The free, public event is part of the university’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

Part of Willamette’s “Find Your Voice: The Online Resource for Fannie Lou Hamer Studies,” the film “Fannie Lou Hamer’s America” is the first full-length feature film of the indomitable human rights activist to be told primarily in her own words. Following an opening address by Gwen Carr of the Oregon Black Pioneers, the film combines rare archival recordings of Hamer's songs, interviews and speeches with her popular media appearances, contemporary artwork and extensive footage from Hamer's home community of the Mississippi Delta. Filmmaker Joy Davenport creates a vivid portrait of an activist Malcolm X referred to as "the country's number one freedom fighting woman," demonstrating both Hamer's historical significance and her enduring relevance in our contemporary context. 

For schedules and more about the annual MLK celebration, visit https://willamette.edu/offices/intercultural-engagement/mlk/. For teacher resources and more about Fannie Lou Hamer, visit findyourvoice.willamette.edu.

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