Every American learns about the work of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr in their school’s curriculum. But there are countless Civil Rights activists and revolutionaries left out of the picture. One such organizer is Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi native who was instrumental in rallying support around the Voting Rights Act of 1964. Now, Hamer’s story is set to become a documentary — and Common has signed onto the project.
The biopic is titled God’s Long Summer, named after the book written by Charles Marsh. The film will follow Hamer’s story as an activist and an organizer, as well as touch on the violent setbacks she faced along the way. According to Billboard, the synopsis reads, “she fought against the Southern political establishment, systemic racism and misogyny by exercising her right to vote and fighting for the rights of others. Labeled as plain spoken and unfit to lead the movement, Hamer captivated the nation with her powerful voice, sheer will, and faith in her fight against leaders at the highest levels of state and federal government and within the Civil Rights Movement itself to help secure passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
About his decision to join the film project, Common said: “Fannie Lou Hamer is a revolutionary figure we should all know. Her story and impact is evidence that Black History IS American History. We have all benefited from her work and dedication. I feel blessed to be working with this incredible group of producers to bring this story to the screen.”
Charles McLaurin, a fellow Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member and close friend of Hamer’s, serves as a story consultant for the film.
“It’s impossible to talk about voting rights in America and not include Mrs. Hamer,” McLaurin said. “Her story will serve as a reminder of our long history of struggle to secure voter rights for all citizens in this country, and, add her powerful voice to the current struggle to pass new voting rights legislation.”