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At noon on Wednesday, October 24, as part of the department’s History Is Lunch series, producers Taiwo Gaynor, John Gibson, and Edie Greene will screen Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up. The original Mississippi Public Broadcasting documentary examines the life of the civil rights legend, offering firsthand accounts by Charles McLaurin, Leslie-Burl McLemore, and others who knew and worked side by side with Hamer. The video also includes the final interview with Hamer’s daughter Vergie Faulkner Hamer, who died shortly after filming.

Fannie Lou Hamer’s fearless advocacy for civil rights during the 1960s brought her to national prominence. Born in the Mississippi Delta in 1917 and raised as a sharecropper, Hamer joined the Civil Rights Movement in 1962. She went on to co-found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, helped organize Freedom Summer, and founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative.

“Mrs. Hamer’s testimony to the Credentials Committee at the Democratic Party’s national convention in 1964 forced President Lyndon Johnson to stage a press conference to divert the news media from her powerful description of the daily life of black Mississippians,” said Gaynor. “More than half a century later people recognize her words ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.’”

Hamer unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate in 1964 and the state legislature in 1971. In 1970 she led legal action against the government of Sunflower County for continued illegal segregation. Fannie Lou Hamer died on March 14, 1977.

Taiwo Gaynor moved from Brooklyn to Mississippi in 1998 to work with Bob Moses and the Algebra Project. Gaynor began working at Mississippi Public Broadcasting in 2008, where he is now Director of Post Production and produces such programs as Ed Said and Amped & Wired as well as several award winning documentaries and original programs.

John Gibson joined MPB in August of 2015 to oversee the agency’s television productions and production services. Gibson formerly worked as a writer-producer for documentaries, TV spots, outdoors programs, a PBS children’s series, and several projects under contract with MPB. Working with government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, he produced numerous projects in the areas of education, child development, healthcare, and issues affecting parents and families. Under John’s leadership, the MPB TV team has won six Southeastern Regional Emmy awards, five Telly awards, and had five programs accepted for national distribution to PBS stations across the country.

Edie Greene also came on board at Mississippi Public Broadcasting in 1998, where she has worked on productions ranging from early literacy, dropout prevention, music, history, writing, and civil rights. Greene has been recognized for her production work with four Southeast Regional Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow award, a Gracie award, an NETA award, and numerous Telly awards.

The program will take place in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium at the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—located at 222 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201. There is no charge to attend. For more information call 601-576-6998 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

October 31—Peter B. Miazza will discuss his new book Voices Heard from the Grave: Jackson’s Greenwood Cemetery. Sales and signing to follow.

November 7—Jeff Giambrone will present “Mississippi in World War I.”

November 14—Joe Wise will present “Above the Trenches: Mississippians in the First Air War.”

November 21—Thanksgiving week--no program

November 28—Tony Turnbow will discuss his new book Hardened to Hickory: The Missing Chapter in Andrew Jackson’s Life. Sales and signing to follow.

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