626 East Lafayette St., Ruleville, MS

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When Fannie Lou Hamer delivered a speech, she would often introduce herself thus: “My name is Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, and I live at 626 East Lafayette Street, Ruleville, Mississippi.”  This introduction did several things, but most notably it gave her a courtesy title (“Mrs.” was typically denied to black women) and it announced to the world where exactly she lived, and that she was unafraid about possible nighttime visitors.  The Hamers moved to this address in December 1962 after being expelled from the Dee Marlow plantation on account of her trying to register to vote.  No doubt the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee helped her find a new place to live after they recruited her as a local organizer, activist and public speaker.  Living here in what she called the “Sanctified Quarters,” Hamer would use this location for countless events over many years.  Whether a clothing drive or a drop-off location for Freedom Summer volunteers, this location is one of the most important places in Mississippi civil rights history.

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