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She speaks for the mood of a race, a race that for centuries has built the nation of America, literally, with blood, sweat, and passive acceptance. She speaks for black Americans who have been second class citizens in their own home too long. She speaks for the race that would be patient no longer that would be accepting no more. Mrs. Hamer speaks for the African Americans who stood up in the 1950's and refused to sit down. They were the people who led the greatest movement in modern American history - the civil rights movement. It was a movement that would be more than a fragment of history; it was a movement that would become a measure of our lives. The government finally answered on July 2nd with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is historically significant because it stands as a defining piece of civil rights legislation, being the first time the national government had declared equality for blacks. The civil rights movement was a campaign led by a number of organizations, supported by many individuals, to end discrimination and achieve equality for American Blacks.Born October 6, 1917, in Montgomery County, Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer was the granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of 20 children. Her parents were sharecroppers. At age six, Fannie Lou began helping her parents in the cotton fields. By the time she was twelve, she was forced to drop out of school and work full time to help support her family. Once grown, she married another sharecropper named Perry "Pap" Hamer. On August 31, 1962, Mrs. Hamer decided she had had enough of sharecropping. Leaving her house in Ruleville, MS she and 17 others took a bus to the courthouse in Indianola, the county seat, to register to vote. On their return home, police stopped their bus. They were told that their bus was the wrong color. Fannie Lou and the others were arrested and jailed. Mrs. Hamer began working on welfare and voter registration programs fo...

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