The Life And Legacy Of NC Civil Rights Activist Ella Baker

Nov 14, 2017

The cover portrait is provided courtesy of the artist Robert Shetterly and the organization 'Americans Who Tell the Truth,' which creates educational opportunities around Shetterly’s portraits of courageous citizens.
Credit Robert Shetterly and 'Americans Who Tell the Truth'

Ella Baker spent decades fighting for civil rights and promoting grassroots activism. 

She grew up in rural Littleton, North Carolina and worked with organizations like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the 1950s.

In 1960, after years of experience as a civil rights organizer, Baker helped start the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Shaw University in Raleigh.

In the new book “We Who Believe in Freedom: The Life and Times of Ella Baker” (North Carolina Division of Archives & History/2017), scholar Lea E. Williams chronicles Baker’s life from her rural roots in eastern North Carolina to her grassroots activism across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Williams about her new young adult book about Baker’s legacy.