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WCLK Black History Moment: Ella Baker

Center for Constitutional Rights

Throughout February Atlanta's Jazz Station 91.9 WCLK will present Black History Moments, focusing on key stories, organizations and people that made a difference. Ella Baker is considered by many to be the most influential woman in the Civil Rights Movement.  Baker was valedictorian at HBCU Shaw University in 1927.  She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century.

She also mentored many emerging activists, including Stokely Carmichael and Bob Moses. Baker criticized top down leadership, favoring grassroots organizing. She realized this vision most fully in the 1960s as the primary advisor and strategist of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. 

Ella Baker criticized not just racism in America, but also the sexism and classism within the Civil Rights Movement itself. She was honored with stamp by the U.S Postal Service in 2009