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The Life of Ella Baker

Powerful Essays
Give light and people will find the way, Said Ella Baker. She was a woman, who even in the darkest hour, gave light to people everywhere. Being a Civil Rights activist in the 1930’s, she was one of the leading figures in the Civil Rights Movement. She dedicated her life to fighting for freedom and equality, and she deserves to be recognized worldwide. Ella Baker was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1903. She always had strong opinions, and “followed her own mind”. However, she was influenced by her grandmother growing up, and this contributed to her sense of social justice and racism. Her grandmother, who had once been a slave, told her granddaughter stories of her own years in slavery. Her grandmother had been whipped for refusing to marry a man picked by her slave owner (SNCC). This story and others like it inspired Baker throughout her life, and led to many of the incredible things she did. Ella and her parents moved to Littleton, North Carolina when she was eight. Sadly, her father stayed behind for his job. The public schools for black children during this time were not sufficient. Her parents wanted to send her and her brother and sister to boarding schools. They both worked hard to acquire this. Finally, when Baker turned fifteen she was sent to Shaw University, in North Carolina (SNCC). Being the bright, intelligent student that she was, she had excellent grades, and was top in her class. She expressed an interest in being a medical missionary, but this would not have been realistic. After graduating in 1927 as valedictorian, Baker headed to New York City (Richman). She was quite brilliant and hoped to find some opportunities in New York that would help her do something worthwhile with her life. After Ella moved to New Y... ... middle of paper ... ...2009. Web. 5 March 2014. Featherstone, Liza. "Baker, Ella 1903–1986." Contemporary Black Biography. 1994. Web. Encyclopedia.com. 4 Mar. 2014. . Richman,Julia.”Ella Baker’s Life.” Ella Baker School. Ella Baker School,2011. Web. 4 March 2014. Garrow, Johnson. et al. “Selma to Montgomery March.” Martin Luther King, Jr. n.p. 1995. Web. 12 March 2014. Shetterly, Robert.”Biography.” Americans Who Tell the Truth. Portraits and Biographies,2006. Web. 4 March 2014. Wexler,Sanford.The Civil Rights Movement.New York: Facts on File,Inc,1993. Print.
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