Traversing the path of Ella Baker's lifework has taken me on a long, invigorating, exciting, stimulating, inspiring way. It has not been a lonesome trek, since in some sense she has always been there sitting at my side. Sorting it all out, trying to make a pattern and crystallizing a life, has been difficult but rewarding.

Baker was a significant personage, the figure always present. Her lifework was one of rebellion, though sometimes she recognized the need for compromise. She gathered strength, courage, and determination from her slave forebears and applied the lessons she gained from her experience to the vagaries of the movement that she was involved in.

Excerpted from
Ella Baker
by Joanne
Grant © 1998 by Joanne
Grant. Reprinted by permission
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