Fannie Lou Hamer was born in the Mississippi Delta in 1917 joining her parents in the sharecropping cotton fields at the tender age of six. Her entry into the civil rights movement occurred after her minor surgery in 1961 resulted in a hysterectomy given without her knowledge or consent, a practice so common it was known as a Mississippi Appendectomy. Her efforts to achieve voting rights for Black Americans got her fired, jailed, and beaten. She still fought on and in 1964 testified at the Democratic National Convention. Fannie Lou Hamer died in 1977 from complications associated with heart disease and cancer.