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Ella Baker's Role In The Civil Rights Movement

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Besides the more prominent Black male leaders of the Civil Rights Movement both black and white women played an important role in the struggle for racial equality. Women’s experiences in the Civil Rights Movement can tell us a lot about the lives of extraordinary women and their ability to gain power in the movement towards equality. Although Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King were major women leaders of the movement, there were numerous other women that played key roles in the fight for equality, such as Ella Baker. Ella Baker fought for civil rights on the front lines for over half a century. Ella Baker was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1903 and grew up in Littleton, North Carolina. During her childhood, she had little contact with whites.…show more content…
As a field supervisor, she focused on legal issues, such as pushing for an anti-lynching law and an end to state- mandate segregation. Baker organized youth chapters everywhere she traveled, as she believed the youth had much to offer to the NAACP. Baker eventually became the NAACP director of branches, the highest- ranking female officer in the organization. She had to supervise field secretaries and coordinate local group activities with the goals of the national organization. In addition, she helped individual branch offices create local campaigns in protest against segregation. In the 1950s, Baker headed south to help with the formation and organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Baker organized the SCLC’s Crusade for Citizenship, a series of programs designed to promote voter registration. Baker frequently challenged the male leadership within the organization. She believed that national leaders should draw their strength from ordinary people, not from the media or powerful financial backers, as the leaders seemed to do at times. Ella Baker is often overlooked as a Civils Rights leader because she worked for organization with strong male leaders. Baker led by example and always advocated for equality. She pushed for inclusion of all people in the civil rights movement, encouraged others to join the movement, and treated others with respect and appreciation. Ella Baker played a prominent role in the fight for
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