Fannie Lou Hamer – voting rights activist, civil rights leader, and humanitarian, captured the nation’s attention during the 1964 Democratic National Convention when she described the injustices she et al. in her community had endured in their fight for the proper to vote. She had been jailed, beaten, and threatened for her advocacy, but didn’t backtrack. The cumulative impact of those and other stressful life experiences negatively impacted her health, but she remained committed to securing her civil rights, because in her now-famous words “All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and uninterested in being sick and tired.”
The legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer is an example of private empowerment and resilience, and the way social factors, broadly considered, contribute to the health status of people and communities. Over the past 50 years, the US has made significant progress in improving health outcomes for the state as an entire. “People live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. However, this upward trend is neither as rapid because it should be – we lag behind dozens of other nations – neither is it uniformly experienced by people within the US.
This is why we work a day at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spot concrete and actionable steps toward achieving health equity. We never lose sight of the “faces” and families behind the info. Consider June, for instance. “Every time I hear you mention health, it seems that poor people don’t have an opportunity [to be healthy]. Everyone can’t attend college or eat the way you say we should always eat. I wish you’ll see my grocery bill whenever I’m going to the supermarket! Diverse Women chatting while tending fresh vegetables in their shared, inner-city, organic gardening, the prices of medicines! Who can afford it? On any given day, it’s all I can do to only get to the top of the day without breaking down!” This was one side of the conversation I overheard between my neighbour – a public health nurse, and June. one mother of 4 adult children, June worked for the past 30 years during a factory that made cardboard boxes. Before passage of the Affordable Care Act, she had little access to the healthcare system, and only very recently has she been ready to successfully manage her diabetes. After numerous years of getting to neglect her health, she is now experiencing a variety of great complications of diabetes. June is very motivated, though, to vary her diet, exercise regularly, and take her medications as prescribed. Why? Because the foremost important aspects of her life are threatened.
Well being, a happy, loving, family enjoying their time together outside
June values “the life in her years” the maximum amount as she values living an extended life. At CDC, we have a health-related quality of life program that assesses health-related quality of life and wellbeing outcomes within the U.S. using state and national surveys. “Well-being may be a positive outcome that’s meaningful for people and for several sectors of society because it tells us that folks perceive that their lives are going well. Good living conditions (e.g., housing, employment) are fundamental to well-being. Tracking these conditions is vital for public policy. However, many indicators that measure living conditions fail to live what people think and feel about their lives, like the standard of their relationships, their positive emotions and resilience, the belief of their potential, or their overall satisfaction with life.”
Research has demonstrated that “higher levels of well-being are related to a decreased risk of disease, illness, and injury; better immune functioning; speedier recovery; and increased longevity.”
As we celebrate 30 years since the discharge of the landmark Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health, how might we enhance the health-related quality of life of persons and communities in danger for health disparities? Promoting wellbeing is according to the goals of health promotion programs that seek to assist people to thrive and not just prevent them from getting sick. If we understand health as a resource that folks use 1) to measure full, productive, and satisfying lives and 2) to deal with or change unhealthful environments 5, then we will develop and implement population health strategies that enhance the standard of life and reduce health disparities. we will end the cycle of being “sick and uninterested in being sick and tired.”
More on topic
Hamer delivered this speech with Malcolm X at a rally at the Williams Institutional CME Church, Harlem, New York, that was organized to support the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s Congressional Challenge.
My name is Fannie Lou Hamer and that I exist at 626 East Lafayette Street in Ruleville, Mississippi. the rationale I say “exist” [is] because we’re excluded from everything in Mississippi but the tombs and therefore the graves. That’s why it’s called that rather than the “land of the free and therefore the home of the brave.” it’s called in Mississippi “the land of the tree and therefore the home of the grave.”
It was the 31st of August of 1962, that eighteen folks travelled 26 miles to the county seat in Indianola, Mississippi, to undertake to register to become first-class citizens. it had been the 31st of August in 1962, that i used to be fired for trying to become a first-class citizen.
When we need to Indianola on the 31st of August in 1962, we were met there by the expressway patrolmen, the town policemen and anybody — as a number of you recognize that have worked in Mississippi, any man that’s ready to wear a khaki pair of pants without them slump him and holding two guns can make an honest lawman — so we were met by them there.
After taking this literacy test, a number of you’ve got seen it, we’ve 21 questions and a few aren’t questions. It began with: “Write the date of this application. what’s your full name. By whom are you employed” — so we will be fired by the time we revisit home — “Are you a citizen of the US and an inhabitant of Mississippi. have you ever ever been convicted of any of the subsequent crimes.” — when, if the people would be convicted of the subsequent crimes, the registrar wouldn’t be there. But after we undergo this process of filling out this literacy form, we are asked to repeat a neighbourhood of the constitution of Mississippi and after we’ve copied this section of the constitution of Mississippi we are asked to offer an inexpensive interpretation to inform what it meant, what we just copied that we just have seen for the primary time.
After finishing this type, we started on this trip back to Ruleville, Mississippi, and that we were stopped by an equivalent city policeman that I had seen in Indianola and an expressway patrolman. We were ordered to urge off the bus. After we got off the bus, we were ordered to urge back on the bus and told to travel back to Indianola. once we came to Indianola the busman was charged with driving a bus the incorrect colour. That’s very true. This same bus had been used year after year to haul people to the cotton fields to select cotton and to cut the cotton. But, this day, for the primary time that this bus had been used for voter registration it had the incorrect colour. They first charged this man 100 dollars. And from 100 dollars they hamper to fifty. And from fifty to thirty, and after they got right down to thirty dollars the eighteen folks had enough among ourselves to pay his fine.
Then we continued this journey back to Ruleville. once we need to Ruleville, Reverend Jeff Sunny drove me bent this country where I had been existing for the past eighteen years as a timekeeper and a sharecropper. I used to be met there by my daughter and my husband’s cousin that told me this man was raising tons of Cain because I had visited Indianola. My oldest girl said that she believed I might need to leave there. Then my husband came and through the time he was talking this man walked up and asked him had I made it back: And he told him I had. And he said, “Well, did you tell her what I said!” My husband told him he did and that I walked out. He said, “Fannie Lou,” he said, “did Pap tell you what I said!” and that I told him he did. He said, “I mean that. you’ll need to go down and withdraw otherwise you will need to leave.”
I said, “Mr Marlow,” I said, “I wasn’t trying to register for you today. I used to be trying to register for myself.” And this was it. I had to go away that very same night.
On the tenth of September in 1962, sixteen bullets were fired into the house of Mr and Mrs Robert Tucker, where I’d been living after I used to be fired from this plantation. that very same night, two girls were shot in Ruleville. They also shot in Mr Joe McDonald’s home that very same night. And until today the place was swamped with FBI until today — it is a very village where everybody knows everybody — it hadn’t been one arrest made.
That’s why about four months ago when the FBI came to speak to me about my life being threatened — they wanted to understand what could I tell them about it — I told them until they straightened out a number of the items that we had done happened, don’t come asking about the items that just happened. Do something about the issues that we’d already had. and that I made it plain. I said, “If there are a God and a heaven.” I said, “if I used to be getting to see you two up there, I might tell them to send me back to Mississippi because I do know He wouldn’t be just to allow you to up there.” This probably won’t sound too good to everybody, but if I can not tell the reality — just tell me to take a seat down — because I even have to inform it love it is.
The 3rd day of June, we visited a voter educational workshop and was returning back to Mississippi. We arrived in Winona, Mississippi, between ten-thirty and eleven o’clock on the 9th of June. a number of the people got off the bus to travel within the restaurant and two of the people got off the bus to use the washroom. I used to be still on the Continental Trailways bus and searching through the window, I saw the people leap out of the restaurant then the 2 people leap out had got off to use the washroom. one among the folks that had got off to use the washroom got on the bus and that I got off the bus. I went straight to Miss [Annell] Ponder, it had been five of them had got off the bus, six altogether but one had come on the bus, in order that was five. I visited ask Miss Ponder to ask of her what had happened. and she or he said that it had been expressway patrolmen and city chief of police had tapped all of them on the shoulder with billy clubs and ordered them out. and that I said, “Well, this is often Mississippi.”
I went back and got on the bus. once I looked back through the window they were putting those people within the patrolmen’s car. I got off of the bus, holding the eyes of Miss Ponder and she or he screamed to inform me to urge back on the bus when somebody screamed from her car and said, “Get that one, too.” And a person jumped out of his car and said, “You are under arrest.” As he visited open the door, he opened the door and told me to urge in. And as I began to get in, he kicked me and that I was carried to the county jailhouse by this county deputy and a plainclothesman. they might call me all types of names. they might inquire from my questions and once I would plan to answer the questions, they might curse and tell me to hush.
I was carried to the county jail and once I got inside the jail, that they had the opposite five already within the booking room. once I walked within the booking room, one among the town policemen just walked over, a really tall man, walked over and jumped on one among the young men’s feet, James West from Itta Bena, Mississippi. Then they began to put us in cells. They left a number of the people out of the cell and that I was placed during a cell with Miss Euvester Simpson from Itta Bena.
After they left the people within the booking room I started to listen to the sounds of licks and that I began to listen to screams. I could not see the people, but I could hear them. and that I would hear somebody once they would say, “Can’t you say ‘yes, sir: nigger? Can’t you say ‘yes, sir’?” and that they would call Annell Ponder awful names.
And she would say, “Yes, I can say ‘yes, sir.”
And they would tell her, “Well, say it.”
She said, “I do not know you tolerably .”
And I would hear when she would hit the ground again. I do not skill long this happened until after a while I saw Miss Ponder pass my cell. And her clothes had been ripped far away from the shoulder right down to the waist. Her hair was standing abreast of her head. Her mouth was swollen and bleeding. And one among her eyes seemed like blood. and that they put her during a cell where I could not see her.
And then three men came to my cell. The expressway patrolman asked me where I used to be from. and that I told him I used to be from Ruleville. He said, “We’re getting to make sure .” and that they left the cell and after a while, they came back. And he told me, said, “You were right.” he said. “You’s from Ruleville alright and that we getting to cause you to wish you were dead.” I used to be led out of that cell and into another cell where they had two Negro prisoners. The expressway patrolman gave the primary Negro prisoner the blackjack. it had been an extended heavy leather something made with something you’ll hold it, and it had been loaded with either rocks or something metal. and that they ordered me to lie on the bed on my face. and that I was beaten by that first Negro until he was exhausted. I used to beat until he was ordered by the expressway patrolman to prevent.
After he told the primary Negro to prevent, he gave the blackjack to the second Negro. When the second Negro began to beat, it appeared like it had been quite I could bear. I started to figure my feet, and therefore the expressway patrolman ordered the primary Negro that had beat me to line on my feet where I used to be kicking them. My dress aroused real high and that I smoothed my clothes down. And one among the town policemen walked over and pulled my dress as high as he could. I used to be trying to shield as many licks from my left side as I could because I had polio once I was six or eight years old. But once they had finished beating me, they were, while they were beating, I used to be screaming. one among the white men got up and commenced to beat me in my head.
A couple of Saturdays ago, I visited a doctor in Washington, D.C, a specialist, and he said one among the arteries behind this left eye had a grume. After this happened in jail, we were in jail from Monday until Wednesday without seeing a doctor. that they had our trial on Tuesday and that we were charged with disorderly behaviour and assault. I used to be in jail when Evers was killed.
What I’m trying to means now’s once you take a really close check out this American society, it is time to question this stuff. we’ve made an appeal for the president of the US and therefore the attorney general to please protect us in Mississippi. and that i can’t understand how it’s out of their power to guard people in Mississippi. they can not do this, but when a man is killed within the Congo, they send people there.
And you’ll always hear this long sob story: “You realize it takes time.” for 3 hundred years, we’ve given them time. and I have been tired goodbye, now I’m sick and uninterested in being sick and tired, and that we need a change. we would like a change during this society in America because you see, we will not ignore the facts and getting our youngsters to sing, “Oh say are you able to see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed.” What can we need to hail here? the reality is that the only thing getting to free us. And you recognize this whole society is sick. And to prove just how sick it had been once we were in Atlantic City challenging the National Convention, once I was testifying before the Credentials Committee, I used to stop because they hate to ascertain what they been knowing all the time and that is the reality.
Yes, tons of individuals will roll their eyes at me today but I’m getting to tell you only love it is, you see, it is time — you see, this is often what got all this like this, there’s such a lot hypocrisy during this society and if we would like America to be a free society we’ve to prevent telling lies, that’s all. Because we’re not free and you recognize we’re not free. you are not free here in Harlem. I’ve gone to tons of massive cities and I have got my first city to travel to where this man wasn’t standing together with his feet on this black man’s neck.
And it is time for you to awaken because, you see, tons of individuals say, “Oh, they is scared of integration.” But the man isn’t scared of integration, not together with his kids. He’s scared of his wife’s kids because he’s got all of them over the place. Because a number of his kids just could be my relative.
And the reason we’re here today, we’re posing for support if this Constitution is basically getting to be of any help during this American society, the 4th day of January is when we’ll find it out. This challenge that we’re challenging the five representatives from Mississippi; now how can a person be in Washington, elected by the people, when 95 percent of the people cannot choose Mississippi? Just taking an opportunity on trying to register to vote, you’ll be fired. Not only fired, but you’ll also be killed. you recognize it’s true because you recognize what happened to Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney. And a person that’s working down there to vary the system is often counted even as another nigger.
But a number of the items I’ve need to say today could also be a touch sickening. People have said year after year, “Those people in Mississippi can’t think.” But after we might work ten and eleven hours each day for 3 lousy dollars and couldn’t sleep we couldn’t do anything but think. and that we are thinking an extended time. and that we are uninterested in what is going on on. and that we want to ascertain now, what this here will end up for the 4th of January. we would like to ascertain is democracy real?
We want to ascertain this because the challenge is predicated upon the violation of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the US constitution, which hadn’t done anything for us yet. And the U.S. courts tied it to Section 201 and 226. Those people were illegally elected and that they are there — the person that I challenged, Jamie L. Whitten, has been in Washington thirteen years and he’s not representing the people of Mississippi because not only do they discriminate against the poor Negroes, they discriminated up until the 3rd of November against the poor whites, but they allow them to vote because they wanted their votes. But it’ll run until the first of July and that we need your support — morally, politically, and financially, too. we’d like your help.
And, people, you do not know in Harlem the facility that you simply got. But you only don’t attempt to use it. People never would have thought — the parents they said was just ignorant, folk out of Mississippi that might have tried to challenge the representatives from Mississippi. But you see the purpose is: we’ve been dying in Mississippi year after year for nothing. and that I do not know, I’ll be removed as soon as I’m going back to Mississippi but what we should always realize, people are removed for nothing.
It is my goal for the explanation for giving those Negro children an honest education within the state of Mississippi and giving them something that they need never had. Then I do know my life won’t be vain. Because, not only can we need a change within the state of Mississippi, but we’d like a change here in Harlem. And it is time for each American citizen to awaken because now the entire world is watching this American society. I remember, during the time I used to be in West Africa — a number of you’ll be here today because I do not know what it’s all about, but I do know I can tell you the reality, too — it had been tons of individuals there that was called the PIAA. “What are you doing over here? Who are you trying to please?”
I said, “All you criticize us once you receive and you’re worried to death once we attempt to determine about our own people.” I said, “If we had been treated as citizenry in America, you would not be trailing us now to seek out out what we are trying to try to up here .”
But this is often something we getting to need to learn to try to and quit saying that we are free in America once I know we aren’t free. you’re not free in Harlem. The people aren’t free in Chicago, because I have been there, too. they’re not free in Philadelphia, because I have been there, too. And once you catch on over with all the way around, a number of the places may be a Mississippi in disguise. and that we need a change. and that we hope you support us during this challenge that we’ll begin on the 4th of January. and provides us what support that you simply can.