Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light... is a compelling and brilliant portrayal about the life, challenges and triumphs of Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist from Ruleville, Mississippi.
Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light... is a timeless story of courage, personal growth and selfless dedication to social justice and equality, that is both entertaining and educational; thereby, making it relevant, inspirational and interesting
As a woman who had come of age during the Civil Rights Movement, Billie Jean Young was familiar with and had even met Ms. Hamer on occasion. However, her desire to create This Little Light arose some twenty years later while traveling from Washington, DC to Jackson, Mississippi where she worked as a professor at Jackson State University.
Prior to boarding her Delta Airlines flight, she had stopped by the bookstore and several copies of Sojourner Magazine, a progressive publication that was not easy to come by in Mississippi. Within the pages of the magazine, she found -- to her surprise -- a series of articles about Fannie Lou Hamer. And then she read them. See what happened next as described in Dr. Young's own words:
"Back on the plane, I cried I wept for myself because I had remained so ignorant for so long and I had only had a shadowy glimpse of this great woman before even though I had in fact, met her on more than one occasion. I wept also for countless others who had been denied knowledge of her greatness; so little was said about her life and work even in Mississippi where I'd been living for the past year. Oh, in our women klatches, we "conscientious" sisters would bring her up, talk about her sassiness, how she didn't ever learn, and therefore, could not accept, the place reserved for her as a Black and a woman. I cried unabashedly. The person sitting next to me, a white gentleman from the South, inquired quizzically with his eyes if something was amiss and asked could he help. I never spoke. I looked at him. I couldn't even shake my head 'no.' I hope he understood. I turned my back looked out the window, and let the tears lap under my chin and run onto my dress."
In the months and years to follow that moment in time, Dr. Young became committed to sharing the Fannie Lou Hamer story, so that others could also be touched and inspired by the brilliant and warm light that radiates from acts of relentless courage, determination, and faith.
Says Dr. Young, "I created This Little Light so that she could continue to speak to people today and lead them through her life, by her example."