The Fannie Lou Hamer Story Stage Play   

Bio:

Mzuri said. “I always saw myself doing something extraordinary through singing.” Mzuri’s dramatic soprano voice took her from her Paterson, N.J. birthplace to nightclub gigs in Paris, France, and Rome Italy.

 

Destined to sing and bring love and peace to the world, Mzuri, has performed all over the united states and abroad. She lived briefly in Paris and Italy, where she trained as a singer. She trained as an actress at HB Studio, New York City.

 

Upon her return from Europe, she was cast as Lucy for the cultural film “SANKOFA”. A writer since childhood, Mzuri has performed in a variety of venues including colleges and universities. Her recent concert debut at Lincoln Center was widely acclaimed. A star of both stage and film, a critic once wrote of her, “when Ms. Mzuri sings, God smiles, and angels flap their wings.” In this one-woman show, mZuri presents… Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer, up close and personal. This presentation in word and song, captures a little known but very important moment in history and lays it at your feet.

 

When Mzuri saw a tape of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer on Gil Noble’s “Like It Is” television show she found the model for the role that has since shaped her acting, writing and singing career. “After she (Hamer) told how she was beaten, I still did not see one ounce of hate in the woman,” Mzuri recalled. “That blew my mind. I could not get how she could not hate the people who treated her that way. I had so much rage in me, racial rage, and I had not gone through anything like she had gone through. That rage was part of the reason I went to Europe.” Mzuri instead channeled her anger into writing a one-woman show about Hamer.

 

Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer was born October 6, 1917 and raised in very harsh and impoverished living conditions sometimes going days without food as the twentieth child of James and Ella Townsend. Her parents migrated from one Mississippi Delta sharecropper plantation to another seeking higher wages in an impossible attempt to find a better quality of life. Fannie Lou Hamer became, “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired” by deciding to take control of her life through voting out institutionally

oppressive policies.

 

The late Lawrence Guyot was a friend and civil rights activist beaten and jailed alongside Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer for registering to vote. He stated in response to a Clarion-Ledger interview, “there is talk of building a statue of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer and rightfully so... I will say that only three things should appear on her statue, a bible... Fannie Lou once said I can’t hate White people and expect to see the face of Jesus, a ballot box, {her spiritual songs inspired the courage of many to risk their lives to register to vote} and a picture of her testifying at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

 

Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer rose from slaving on sharecropping plantations to lead the charge as the spokesperson for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Held national college student training camps at Miami University in Oxford, OH for the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Voter Registration Campaign. She founded the Mississippi Freedom Farms initiative to feed the impoverished. She founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the incumbent European American oppressors by running for congress. Her credentials committee testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention caused a seismic shift on the socio-political landscape of America which became the catalyst to the passage of the Voter’s Rights Act of 1965.

 

She picked up the inspirational torch of Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman to become the undisputed Mother of Voter Registration for the Negro in America. Celebrating her 100th anniversary birthday is the most advantageous light to shine for the National Theme of Juneteenth 2018.  Time has come to stake our claim to reparations reinforced by a recent United Nations panel report as we move towards our next election cycle.

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