This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Mississippi’s Fannie Lou Hamer

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Director Robin N. Hamilton re-releases the documentary about an extraordinary woman who went from picking cotton at age 6 to becoming an indomitable civil rights leader.  Capturing a snapshot in time from her historic speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1964, “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer” packs power into 30 minutes.

Born one of 20 children on a cotton plantation in Ruleville, Hamer had no education beyond sixth grade. At 44, she was sterilized by a white doctor without her knowledge.  That devastating abuse pushed her to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which had actively begun voting registration drives in Mississippi.

During Freedom Summer of 1963, Mrs. Hamer was arrested with her group after a voter registration drive. She suffered a horrible beating in a Winona jail by southern officers, angered by her activism.

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Her testimony during the 1964 Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee recounted that beating, making national headlines – and played a part in charting the course of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Though her body was battered, her spirit didn’t break. Mrs. Hamer was unwavering and unapologetic for demanding a basic human right every citizen deserves,” says Hamilton.

Now available to the public, the film streams throughout February and early March. Go to to watch.