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‘Until I’m free you are not free either’: Civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer has Madison connection

When Fannie Lou Hamer spoke to a predominantly white audience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, the civil rights icon spoke of the time when she was 13 and asked her mother a seemingly innocent question.

“How come we wasn’t born white?”

It was the question of a young teenager growing up in the heart of the South, when ruthless racism was the norm.