“Fanny Lou Hamer’s America” highlights the under-represented civil rights leader Fanny Lou Hamer.

By Ann McQueen

February is Black History Month and CASCADIA International Women’s film festival is proud to sponsor the award-winning documentary, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America at the Pickford Film Center on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. This film is somewhat personal for me because Like Fannie Lou I was raised in Mississippi. Since my very early childhood, I was aware of my parents’ strong involvement with the civil rights movement and their activism shaped us as a family. Most of the decisions made in our household such as education, professional choices & friendships were based on the inclusion and moving Mississippi forward to a better place for all races. This was Mississippi in the 1960s and 1970s and my parents lived by their beliefs although sometimes not easy or popular.

Around 50 years ago my parents with the help of a few determined friends started a theater converted from a small run-down church in a predominately African American neighborhood in Jackson Ms. with the sole purpose of inclusion in the arts. The actors, directors, and theatergoers were open to anyone and everyone who enjoyed the live theater. New Stage theater still thrives today and is one of the most successful professional community theaters in the country with bigger and broader outreach programs.

Fannie Lou Hamer’s America is a 60-minute award-winning documentary that shines the spotlight on one of our most under-recognized civil rights leaders and her fight to register African American voters. This film is a strong representation of one very brave woman’s effect on black history and how her life story still resonates in today’s climate. Let Fannie Lou through tears, laughter, and song educate and inspire you this Black History Month and join CASCADIA women’s film festival at the Pickford  Film Center in Bellingham, Thursday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets may be purchased through the Pickford’s website.

This special screening made possible by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.