FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA is an illuminating and exhilarating look at one of our most compelling civil rights leaders. Through rare footage and recordings, some not seen or heard in half a century. FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICAr tells her story — and that of America — more than four decades after her death. The directorial debut of Joy Davenport and the brainchild of Monica Land, FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA offers photos, documents, performances and sources, some unearthed by family members, to a new generation of audiences called upon to take up the mantle of preserving American democracy. Fifteen years in the making, FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA presents the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers’ passion and commitment to voting rights and economic justice and her rise to national prominence. The film captures Hamer’s resistance as she works to register Black voters, runs for Congress, fights for economic opportunity in her home state and more — all while government leaders, the media and even her civil rights peers tried to silence her. FANNIE LOU HAMER’S AMERICA was produced by Hamer’s great-niece Monica Land and Selena Lauterer. Director Joy Davenport joins us for a conversation on this captivating portrait of one of the civil rights era’s preeminent icons through her own speeches, interviews and songs follows Hamer’s life from the cotton fields of Mississippi to the halls of Congress.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special broadcasts on PBS on Tuesday, February 22, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET and on WORLD Channel on Thursday, February 24, at 8 p.m. ET during Black History Month.
About the filmmaker – Joy Davenport is a director, videographer and video editor from Tallahassee, Florida. Since 2010 she has produced an eclectic mix of feature-length and short documentaries on topics as varied as the Civil Rights struggle in Mississippi, migratory shorebirds of Florida, the Cold War anxieties of Gilligan’s Island, and many more; her historical film “M.F.D.P.” was an official selection at the Bridge Crossing Jubilee Festival in Selma, Alabama; and she has produced environmental and historical documentaries for PBS and National Geographic. She is currently based out of Chicago, Illinois.