Fannie Lou Hamer Awards

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Fannie Lou Hamer. Credit: Carl Snowden's Facebook page

The Fannie Lou Hamer Awards and Reception are scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017, 4:00 p.m. at Francis Scott Key AuditoriumSt. John’s College, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland.

This event honors women of various racial backgrounds. Twenty-two years ago, The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee partnered with St. John’s College to honor women who lived and/or worked in Anne Arundel County.

This award, created for remarkable women, was named for the late Mrs. Hamer, a remarkable Mississippi woman herself, who was a feminist and civil rights heroine. Many reading this post, may have never heard of Fannie Lou Hamer and that is precisely why the award is named after her. If Mrs. Hamer were still alive,  she would have been 100 years old in October. We will be celebrating the centennial of her birth. Through her life story, we will learn about a woman whose attire consisted of flannel dresses, flat shoes, and no jewelry, yet her beauty was her spirit of defiance and determination.

Think of living in an era where racism and sexism were so prevalent that most women of her era accepted their status with a subjugation attitude. Not Mrs. Hamer, who once famously said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” History books only have a passing reference to who she was. We want to make sure that her spirit lives on through our annual recognition of her birthday.

There are many women, both contemporary and historical, who have made significant contributions to our nation, but who are overlooked. In Maryland, each October, we honor the memory of Mrs. Hamer by presenting awards to women, who like Mrs. Hamer may not be a household name, but in their own way, have made Anne Arundel County a better place to live, work and raise a family.

On Sunday, October 1st at the Francis Scott Key Auditorium at St. John’s College, please join us in recognizing the following six women: Lisa DeJesus, Mia Tompkins, Debbie Ritchie, Yasemin Jamison, Yvette Jackson, and Sarah Elfreth.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by telephoning Arlene Jackson at 301-538-6353

There is “his-story” and there is “her-story”; the true story of America will never be appreciated until both stories are told.

A Luta Continua!

Carl Snowden is a political and civil rights leader in Annapolis.

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