When she came onto the civil rights stage, the men assumed she’d sing, not speak. But Fannie Lou Hamer was a force. As author Kate Clifford Larson tells the amazing story in her new book Walk With Me, she stood up to elitism in the civil rights movement. Unlike the men leaders, she was an uneducated genius, whose unique activism was community based which gave new power to the movement. Her speech at the 1964 Democratic national convention was so powerful President Johnson called a “news conference” to interrupt TV coverage. Growing up in the cotton fields, beaten and raped in jail, her influence goes on, winning many of today’s defining battles.

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