(Oct. 6, 2016) - BROOKLYN, NY - Award-winning filmmaker Keith A. Beauchamp, whose documentary on Emmett Till led to the highly anticipated release of the upcoming feature film, “Till”, is now spearheading the effort to resurrect Fannie Lou Hamer’s story in a new documentary.
Fannie Lou Hamer was a valiant foot soldier for civil rights and constantly testified that she was ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ Hamer feared no one, but confidently declared that every man, woman and child, regardless of race and color had a legitimate right to equality.
Hamer, an uneducated sharecropper, was nearly beaten to death in a Winona, Miss., jail cell in June 1963, for encouraging blacks to register and vote. So powerful was Hamer’s voice, that President Lyndon B. Johnson felt he had to interrupt her remarks on national television to prevent embarrassment to him and his Democratic enterprise.
Beauchamp was introduced to the film, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America, by Hamer’s niece, writer and producer, Monica Land. Joining them are Fannie Lou Hamer scholars and historians, Dr. Maegan Parker Brooks and Dr. Davis Houck. Directing the film is Joe Davenport, whose 2010 film, “M.F.D.P.” detailed Hamer’s formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Stepping outside the realm of a traditional documentary, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America allows Hamer to tell her own story by means of the many television and radio interviews she gave during her political career. Also featured are many of her personal effects and personal stories from her family.
Beauchamp, whose 2005 documentary on Till led to the Department of Justice reopening the case of his 1955 murder, has produced more than a dozen films on victims of the civil rights movement.
“I want to educate the public about these unsung heroes. And with Fannie Lou Hamer, her voice still speaks to a generation today,” he said. “She set the foundation for a person like Barack Obama to be president. We can learn so much from her and hers is a voice that people need to hear. It should never be forgotten.”
An educational curriculum, Find Your Voice, will also be provided for students.
Facebook: Fannie Lou Hamer’s America and Twitter: @flhamerica
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