BOSTON (January 11, 2022) —America ReFramed, the Peabody Award-winning documentary series co-produced by WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc., ushers in its milestone tenth season with the world premiere of Fannie Lou Hamer’s America. Produced by Hamer’s great-niece Monica Land and Selena Lauterer and directed by Joy Davenport, the captivating portrait of one of the civil rights era’s preeminent icons through her own speeches, interviews and songs follows Hamer’s life from the cotton fields of Mississippi to the halls of Congress. Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special broadcasts on PBS on Tuesday, February 22, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET and on WORLD Channel on Thursday, February 24, at 8 p.m. ET during Black History Month. Beginning on February 22, the film also streams on worldchannel.org, WORLD Channel’s YouTube Channel and on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
Through rare footage and recordings, some not seen or heard in half a century, Hamer tells her story — and that of America — more than four decades after her death. The directorial debut of Davenport and the brainchild of Land, the film offers photos, documents, performances and sources, some unearthed by family members, to a new generation of audiences called upon to take up the mantle of preserving American democracy. Fifteen years in the making, Fannie Lou Hamer’s Americapresents the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers’ passion and commitment to voting rights and economic justice and her rise to national prominence. The film captures Hamer’s resistance as she works to register Black voters, runs for Congress, fights for economic opportunity in her home state and more — all while government leaders, the media and even her civil rights peers tried to silence her.
“Fannie Lou Hamer put her life on the line working to ensure that America lived up to its promise,” said Davenport. “She urged us to look directly at the truth of this country. In the decades since her death we've collectively looked away, but to a sick and tired nation that yearns for the American dream, her message remains painfully clear: it's time to wake up.”
The film airs at a time when Black women are being acknowledged for their work at the forefront of the fight for voting rights amidst unprecedented voter suppression efforts targeting citizens of color — in the spirit of Hamer’s famous quote, “Nobody’s free until everybody's free.”
“Fannie Lou Hamer’s America will steep viewers in Black history while providing greater context for and insight into some of today’s biggest challenges,” saidChris Hastings, executive producer/managing editor of WORLD Channel at GBH in Boston.
“As a family member of Mrs. Hamer’s, Monica Land has provided us with the rare opportunity to peek inside the life of one of America’s most important moral leaders,” said Erika Dilday, executive director at American Documentary. “We are happy to welcome this film to the roster of diverse and thought-provoking works that comprise the America ReFramedcatalog.”
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special is a copresentation of WORLD Channel, PBS andBlack Public Media. The WORLD Channel premiere ofFannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Specialmarks the weekly series’ move to its new Thursday time slot. The film will also stream through Women’s History Month.
America ReFramedcenters the stories of those who are often pushed to the sidelines of the country’s narrative. The series has been nominated for duPont-Columbia, International Documentary Association and News & Documentary Emmy Awards. An essential platform for diverse artists and audiences, the series is the recipient of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, and has been honored by the Gracie Awards, Imagen Awards, Kaleidoscope Awards, Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special is a coproduction of Monica Land; The Bitter Southerner; GBH WORLD Channel; American Documentary, Inc.; and Black Public Media with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
For more information, visit www.WORLDchannel.org.
About American Documentary Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia arts organization dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation. AmDoc is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Additional funding for America ReFramed is provided by Open Society Foundations, Reva and David Logan Foundation, Acton Family Giving, Park Foundation and Perspective Fund.
About WORLD Channel
WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examine the issues and amplify the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multicast 24/7 channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award, two Webby Awards and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 191 member stations in markets representing 75% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT). Find out more at WORLDChannel.org.