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The Life And Legacy Of NC Civil Rights Activist Ella Baker

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. 

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.