On Sunday, October 16, 2016, Vanessa Johnson will perform her one-woman show "I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired," her tribute to civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The show is based on testimonies and interviews of Ms. Hamer, primary documents from various U.S. archives, and the voices of other Civil Rights Activists who knew her. It includes spoken word, songs, audience participation and monologues.
Ms. Hamer was the youngest of 20 children and was 6 years old when she started working cotton fields in Mississippi. She began working with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1962, was a founding member and Vice President of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and was called the “spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.” She said, “Sometimes it seem like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I’m not backing off.”
Vanessa Johnson, who also wrote the show, is a Griot, writer, playwright, actor, fiber artist, museum consultant, community activist, historian, and an educator. She will be accompanied during this performance by Berny Williford.
*A Griot is a West African poet, musician, storyteller, historian and/or praise singer.
Download the audio at the a-Infos Radio Project.