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Ella Baker

Dec. 13, 1903 - Dec. 13,1986

Ella Baker - A Klos Family Project

Born in Norfolk, Virginia and growing up in North Carolina, Ella learned early on what it means to be black in the South. She would listen to stories her grandmother would tell about being a slave, and suffering a beating for refusing to marry a man her owner had picked for her.

Ella experienced success in school, studying at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduating as a valedictorian in 1927. As a student she saw policies that were not fair and spoke out about them. Her interest in civil rights continued when she moved to New York City, where she joined the Young Negroes Cooperative League in 1930. The goal of the league was to gain economic advances for black people.

In 1940 Ella became active in the NAACP first as a field secretary and then as a director from 1943 to 1946. During that time the NAACP lobbied for the desegregation of the New York City public schools. As a catalyst and leader for change, Ella moved to Atlanta in 1957 to organize Martin Luther King's group called the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She also led a voter registration campaign named the Crusade for Citizenship.

She parted ways with the SCLC after two years feeling that the centralized leadership was unnecessary for local social protest demonstrations. She returned to Shaw University, her alma mater, to organize student sit-ins in 1960. That was when SNCC was created standing for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She continued to be involved with that group as a quiet guide who would listen and encourage young activists, rather than orchestrate plans for them. The students greatly respected her and called her "Miss Baker". Ella Baker died on her birth date in 1986 in New York City.

by Jane Harter

Research Links

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The Ella Baker Center For Human Rights

Ella Baker/SNCC Conference 2000
"We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest: Ella J. Baker ("Miss Baker")
and the Birth of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee". ...

SNCC-People: Ella Baker
Ella Baker was born on December 13, 1903, in Norfolk, Virginia. Baker
developed a sense for social justice early in her life. As ...

Welcome to The Baker House
Mentoring, monitoring and ministering to high-risk youth and the community. Reverend
Eugene F. Rivers 3d, President. The Baker House, Academic Sports Camp. ...

Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker
... Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker. A Film by Joanne Grant. Highlighting
the turbulent 1960s, this film adds to our understanding of the ...

Wiley :: Ella Baker: Freedom Bound
... Wiley > Society & Lifestyle > History > US Biography > Ella Baker: Freedom
Bound. Related Subjects, ... Definitive biography of Ella Baker. ...

"Ella Baker - Freedom Bound" by Joanne Grant
Traversing the path of Ella Baker's lifework has taken me on a long,
invigorating, exciting, stimulating, inspiring way. It has ...

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project Encyclopedia
ELLA BAKER. Baker, Ella Josephine (1903-1986). Perhaps ... Ella Baker to
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, 23 March 1960. Ella ...

Ella Baker
... Baker. Click here to visit our sponsor Ella Baker. 1903 - 1986. Civil
Rights Organizer. ... rights ... Start your search on Ella Baker. ...


Start your search on Ella Baker.

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