Why I’m Celebrating Ella Baker On MLK Day

Our Legaci


Known as the “God Mother of the SNCC” Ella Baker was a community activist in the truest sense of the term. This is not to discredit, the courageous works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but Ella Baker told us the dangers of leader driven movements…and she was right.

After years of working with the NAACP, Ella Baker became a key organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Council, founded in part by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. She worked behind the scenes organizing voter registration campaigns, conferences and initiatives. Perhaps, she is most celebrated for recognizing the power in collective youth movements. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee was formed under her guidance and launched a movement that changed the American political landscape forever. SNCC is widely known for organizing sit-ins and the 1961 Freedom Rides.

Baker’s greatest hope was that ordinary people see the power they hold within themselves. She famously…

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