The Fannie Lou Musical INSIDE TRACKS series comes full circle with our concluding track, a piano-vocal version of "Forget Me Not." Yes, it's the same song as , only a different arrangement. This final song in the series features an arrangement by our inaugural music director, the luminously gifted in the seriesCharles Duke, who also performs on keyboard.
The song "Forget Me Not," which comes at the end of Fannie Lou musical, implored the audience to remember what they've seen enacted on the stage. To gain strength, faith, hope and inspiration from it. And, to pass on to others the lessons learned, the knowledge gained.
With the existence of footage from 1964 attesting to Fannie Lou Hamer's voting-rights struggle; a portion of an acclaimed 1987 documentary devoted to heralding her story; a comprehensive biography about her published in 1993; and a 2009 postage stamp honoring her life and pioneering courage (see right column), one might assume that Fannie Lou Hamer has become a well-known part of the American fabric.
But there are still many people who don't know about Fannie Lou Hamer and how difficult it was for her and others like her to exercise their right to vote. Like Fannie Lou Hanmer, many who pursued that right were jailed and beaten. Some died. Just because they wanted to vote.
"Forget Me Not" is a reminder that their struggle, their sacrifice, must always be remembered. Always.
In 2009, to commemorate the NAACP's 100th anniversary, the U.S. Postal Service created a series of stamps honoiring civil-rights social changers. Titled "Civil Rights Pioneers," the series highlighted the work of 12 extraordinary individuals. According to USPS, "The courage and commitment of these men and women, leaders of the struggle for African-American civil rights, energized a movement that spanned generations." Two civil rights pioneers were featured on each of the six stamps in the series. Fannie Lou Hamer was paired with Medgar Evers, a fellow Mississippian who was gunned down in his own driveway (shot in the back) because of his civil rights activism. Coincidentally, he was killed on the same day Fannie Lou Hamer was released from having been jailed by law-enforcement authorities, and beaten, for her own civil rights activities.
The series was undertaken by art director Ethel Kessler and stamp designer Greg Berger. For more information, please visit here.