Ella Baker, 1903–1986
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes,” goes Ella’s Song, written to honor civil and human rights activist Ella Baker. Baker had a particular vision for the movement’s growth. Influenced by theories of participatory democracy and the voices of the Harlem Renaissance, she is largely responsible for the community-based approach embraced by grassroots organizations today.
Committed to strengthening the voices of all the civil rights movement’s members, Baker also joined forces with women’s groups, anti-apartheid groups and anti-racist groups whenever possible, working to build a coalition strong and broad enough to one day encompass us all.