Keisha Blain to Keynote Fannie Lou Hamer Symposium at Stockton U.

AC JosepH Media

GALLOWAY — Author and MSNBC columnist Keisha N. Blain will be the featured speaker at the 19th annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Stockton University Performing Arts Center.

This year’s theme, inspired by a notable quote of Hamer’s, will be “Women’s Voices in U.S. Politics: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.”

Blain is a professor of Africana Studies and History at Brown University. Along with her work at MSNBC, she is the former president of the African American Intellectual History Society. She is also the 2022 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Paid for by Tim Alexander for Congress

Her research and writing examine the dynamics of race, gender and politics from both national and global perspectives, making her one of the most innovative and influential young historians of her generation.

Blain’s most recent book “Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America” (2021) was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and selected as a finalist for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography.

Blain is also the author of “Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom” (2018), winner of the First Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and winner of the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians.

Fannie Lou Hamer was among the most significant participants in the struggle launched in the latter half of the 20th century to achieve freedom and social justice for African Americans.

Hamer’s historic presence in Atlantic City at the 1964 Democratic National Convention brought national prominence with her electrifying testimony before the convention’s credentials committee. She sought to prevent the seating of the all-white Mississippi delegation.

While this effort failed, the Democratic Party agreed that in the future no delegation would be seated from a state where anyone was illegally denied the vote. Roughly a year later, the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed. 

Stockton honors Fannie Lou Hamer by inviting influential keynote speakers annually to inspire and inform students. Past speakers include Bettina L. Love (2021); Zoe Spencer (2020); W. Paul Coates (2019); and Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver (2018).

The symposium is sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, Unified Black Students Society, the Office of the Provost, The Council of Black Faculty and Staff, the Office of the President, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity and the Office of Student Development.


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