ATLANTIC CITY — In January, then-congressional candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison published an opinion piece in The Press of Atlantic City calling for a statue of civil rights and women’s rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer to be erected outside Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.

Hamer’s connection to the city and the building — she famously proclaimed, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” there during the 1964 Democratic Convention — is recognized within Stockton University’s city campus, where the school’s signature meeting room is named in her honor.

In light of nationwide social and political unrest amid renewed calls for justice and reform, City Council took an additional step Wednesday night toward memorializing Hamer. Council voted unanimously to submit a grant application to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for a statue of Hamer to be erected outside Boardwalk Hall.

“I think it’s a fitting tribute to a person who committed her life for the struggle for justice and humanity,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Kaleem Shabazz, who sponsored the council resolution.

He said there have been preliminary discussion about the Hamer statue with officials at the CRDA. Shabazz, who is also president of the NAACP’s Atlantic City chapter, said he believes there is support for the proposal.

The push for the statue of Hamer came on the same night council paid $19,000 for the removal and transport of the Christopher Columbus statue that stood at the base of the Atlantic City Expressway. The statue was removed earlier this month.

Council voted to rename Christopher Columbus Boulevard as Italian Heritage Boulevard, while also electing to celebrate Italian Heritage Day on the second Monday in October.

A resolution on council’s agenda to recognize Aug. 9 as Indigenous People’s Day was pulled without explanation.

Contact: 609-272-7222

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments