Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story


Mary Watkins

Mary Watkins

Performance forces:



Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story is an opera in two acts about Fannie Lou Hamer, the granddaughter of slaves and daughter of sharecroppers who was one of the first African-Americans to register to vote in Mississippi. She became a leader in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and she endured death threats, beatings, and imprisonment in order to obtain voting rights for her people. The opera traces Fannie’s childhood, her decision to register to vote, her growing leadership as an activist, and her electrifying televised speech during the 1964 Democratic National Convention which focused national attention on the brutal KKK attacks on African-Americans who tried to vote.