WASHINGTON — Vanessa Garrison will lace up her orange Nikes on Friday and join dozens of others in Ruleville, Miss., in the 1.5-mile walk from City Hall to the gravesite of civil rights legend and voting rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer.
From rural Ruleville to the U.S. Capitol, community groups, lawmakers and hundreds of black women across the country this week are celebrating the work of Hamer, whose 100th birthday would have been Friday. Hamer's declaration, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired," remains a mantra of the civil rights movement.
Garrison, who traveled from Washington, D.C., and others making the GirlTrek walk in Ruleville wanted to pay homage to Hamer in her hometown.
“It was important for us in terms of honoring her that we come the community to show our respects to her, to walk the hallowed ground that she walked on and to tell her story from this place so that it’s not lost,’’ said Garrison, a co-founder along with Morgan Dixon of GirlTrek, a health movement to inspire black women and girls.