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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1903 - Death: 1986
Born In: Virginia, United States of America
Died In: New York, United States of America
Achievements: Humanities
Educated In: North Carolina
Schools Attended: Shaw University
Worked In: New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi

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Ella Baker

A major force in shaping the development of the Civil Rights Movement in America, Ella Baker was the premiere behind-the-scenes organizer, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) headed by Martin Luther King, Jr., and an inspiring force behind the creation of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Baker began her career as an National Association for the Advancement of Colored People organizer in 1935, traveling the nation. In the late 1950s she helped create SCLC to fight racism; in her role as "inside" organizer (as opposed to King's primary spokesperson role) and executive director, Baker helped organize more than 65 affiliates. As students - black and white - became involved in the Movement, Baker supported the idea of a student-run organization, and encouraged young people to found SNCC. SNCC organized many successful voter registration drives and other activities. Baker was also an adviser to the creation of the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party (MDFP), created to help overturn the all-white Democratic Party delegation to the party conventions.
Additional Sources:

Grant, Joanne. Ella Baker Freedom Bound. New York: Wiley, 1988. Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-258) and index. Electronic reprodution:

Cantarow, Ellen; Susan Gushee O'Malley and Sharon Hatman Strom. Old Westbury, New York: Feminist Press; New York: McGraw-Hill, c1980. NOTES: From Series ""Women's Lives, Women's Work."" Bibliography: p.159-161.

Tape recordings, 1979. ""Mississippi's 'Freedom Summer' Reviewed: A Fifteen Year Perspective on Progress in Race Relations: 1964-1979."" 1 box, 16 tape recordings. State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Archives Division. Madison, Wisconsin.

Duke University Oral History Program: Collection 1973-1992 and undated, 10.3 ft. Duke University, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. Durham, North Carolina.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago