She Understood That Faith Alone Was Not Enough To Face Injustice

Fannie Lou Hamer asked, “Is this America, the land of the free … where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings?” The answer was more than yes or no – and it impacts our faith.

She Understood That Faith Alone Was Not Enough To Face Injustice
Via Wikimedia Commons

Fannie Lou Hamer’s faith was more than about questioning America. In fact, if anyone had the right to complain about injustice, it was this legendary activist!

And yet, she didn’t choose that route. She chose to do something else much more effective and aligned with her belief in God.

Hamer was an avid churchgoer and singer. Even during her hardest times, that faith showed up. When she was arrested and nearly beaten to death by police, she sang spirituals in her suffering. As she lay in her cell bleeding, she had her cellmate recite Bible verses to her. Her faith was all about one word.

Action. Hamer believed that no matter how much Black people talked about injustice or learned about ways to organize around it, that it was useless with action. She believed that each of us had a responsibility to actively work toward the society we desire to see.

In other words, Hamer’s faith that all of us – including herself – were divinely called to take action strengthened her. This allowed her to inspire other civil rights leaders and to refuse to give up on her own work.

Hamer's faith in God renewed her spirit and gave her the courage to take action,  even in the face of death. What action can you take – large or small – to affirm your spiritual commitment to Black freedom?

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