Until I Am Free: Dr. Keisha N. Blain Releases Highly Anticipated New Book About Civil Rights Legend
05 Oct 2021
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain has released her highly anticipated new book, Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America, bringing the Black civil rights activist to life in rich and heartwarming detail.
A sharecropper’s daughter, Hamer grew up in the Mississippi Delta. At the age of 44, she officially joined the civil rights movement after attending a rally and realizing she had the right to vote. She became an advocate for Black voting rights and spent her life fighting for the cause. Despite being beaten, jailed, shot at and verbally abused, Hamer never gave up. In later years, she founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative to empower Black sharecroppers and tenant farmers.
Blain situates Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe.
“Despite her limited material resources and the myriad challenges she endured as a Black woman living in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer committed herself to making a difference in the lives of others,” Blain says. “She refused to be sidelined in the movement and refused to be intimidated by those of higher social status and with better jobs and education.”
One of the newest speakers to join the APB family, Dr. Blain has quickly become one of our most sought-after voices. An innovative and influential young historian, she offers a compelling examination of the dynamics of race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives.
In addition to Until I Am Free, Blain is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi; and Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom, which won the First Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians.
She is the co-editor of To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism; New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition; and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence.