Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Random Civil Rights Moments: Ella Jo Baker

One thing I am noticing while looking through civil rights people for these posts is that there were a lot of women involved. This one is about Ella Jo Baker. She was born on December 13th 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia. Hearing stories about her grandmother that was a slave inspired her to fight for justice. While studying at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina she fought against unfair school policies. She graduated as a valedictorian and continued fighting not just for Black rights but rights for women as well by joining Young Negroes Cooperative League. This was a battle that women like her had that sucked because she was dealing with two strong social issues at once. 

By 1940 she was involved with the NAACP as a field secretary and then as a director of branches for a few years. In 1955 she co-founded In Friendship which was an organization to fight Jim Crow Laws (I'll have to do a whole 'nother post about those). There is a quote of her that I really like and think people can take a lot from today. “You didn't see me on television, you didn't see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don't need strong leaders.”

Click here for previous Random Civil Rights Moments

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