Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi (Primary Title)

Louis Draper, American, 1935 - 2002 (Artist)

Works On Paper
Gelatin silver print
United States
Sheet: 13 7/8 × 10 15/16 in. (35.24 × 27.78 cm)
Image: 9 × 6 1/8 in. (22.86 × 15.56 cm)
Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm)
Not on view
In 1971 Essence magazine sent Draper on assignment to Mississippi to photograph civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. This portrait appeared with the article “Fannie Lou Hamer Speaks Out,” in the October issue. Known for her fearlessness and strength in the midst of violence and intimidation, Hamer had been arrested and severely beaten by police in 1963 for her work on voter registration drives. She gained national attention when she returned to her activism in the mid-1960s, and this photograph visually distills her voice: “Today I don’t have any money, but I’m freer than the average white American ‘cause I know who I am. I know what I’m about, and I know that I don’t have anything to be ashamed of.”
National Endowment for the Arts Fund for American Art
A Commitment to the Community: The Black Photographers Annual, Volume I, VMFA, February 16, 2017 – October 1, 2017

Identity Shifts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, April 26 – July 27, 2014

"Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop", VMFA, February 1, 2020 - June 14, 2020
©artist or artist’s estate

Photographer Louis Draper

Chiefly known as as a New York photographer, Louis Draper was first a Richmonder. His sister, Nell Draper Winston, talks about her brother’s ability to capture the character of everyday people.

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.