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Ella Baker Essay

Ella Baker Essay

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Ella Baker was born on December 13, 1903, and died ob December 13, 1986. She was an African-American civil and human rights activists. Her behind-the-scenes career lasted for over five decades. She worked with some of the famous leaders of the 20th century. They included Martin Luther King, Jr, W. E. B. Du Bois, among others. She also mentored emerging activists like Rosa Parks and Diane Nash.

Ella Baker was a critic of charismatic and professionalized leadership. She promoted grassroots organizations and also radical democracy. Many have called her the most influential female civil activist of the 20th century. She was from Norfolk, Virginia. Her parents; Blake and Georgiana Baker raised her. They moved to North Carolina when she was seven (Benfield et al. 1991).

Ella Baker's grandmother told her the stories of slave revolts. She attended Shaw University and graduated as the class valedictorian in 1927. Ella was 24 years old. While in college, she challenged the policies that she thought were unfair. She moved to New York City after graduating. While there, she at one time worked at the American West Indian News.

In 1931, Ella Baker joined Young Negroes' Cooperative League. She was under the Worker's Education Project. She taught consumer education courses, African and labor history. She immersed herself in the political and cultural milieu of Harlem. She also married T. J. Roberts, who was her college sweetheart but later they divorced (Malley, 2000).


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