There are quite a number of personalities who left a mark in the lives of many people because of their roles in the fight for equality of all persons. In the history of the Civil Rights Movement, one such woman stands out. Janice D. Hamlet, in the article Fannie, Lou Hamer: The Unquenchable Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement presents one such character. In the article, Hamer is presented as one of the few individuals who merged ethos and their personality in making public addresses that created an outstanding image in the minds of her audience.
According to Hamlet, ethos can be seen through a person’s character, intelligence, goodwill as well as charisma (561). These are the four most important aspects of a ‘rhetor’ that the audience need to identify and that there should not be any gap created by any of them missing. Just like other figures like Martin Luther King, Hamer was determined to change the way fellow blacks lived and hence, the development of her ethos. She may have faced difficulties in her fight for her fellow Africans but her resolute kept her going. She faced very inhumane mistreatments that left her kidneys permanently damaged but that was the price she had to pay for the sake of her people.
Despite all, she was determined to bring the changes that America needed at the time, starting with her fellow black American women who were educated. Hamer was greatly concerned about how her fellow blacks viewed her. Through her efforts America had to see its hypocrisy. Her sincerity and character stimulated many people but not everyone because of her strong speeches where were delivered in an uneducated way. But this notwithstanding, she played a very important role in the Civil Rights Movement and this makes her one of the few women who fought for social change.
Hamlet, D Janice. Fannie, Lou Hamer: The Unquenchable Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. PDF File