Celebrating the extraordinary achievements of african americans

Ella Baker

December 13, 1903 - December 13, 1986


Ella Baker was born on December 13, 1903, in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. Baker was known for her community organization and political activism, who helped major civil rights organizations of the mid-20th century.

Baker started her high school education of Shaw University in Raleigh, and continued her college education at Shaw, graduating in 1927 as a valedictorian. On moving to New York City in search for employment, Baker came across people suffering from poverty and hardship, which was caused by the great depression, which began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. Her sojourn to New York City also led into political activism that became her life’s work.

In the early 1930s, Baker helped organize the Young Negroes Cooperative League, which helped pool community resources in order to provide less-expensive goods and services to its members. Baker later joined the service of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), starting as a field secretary, and advancing to become the National Director of the Association, which she later resigned from in 1946, due to the perceived bureaucracy of the Association.She was involved several other Civil Rights organizations, such as the Organization in Friendship, to help raise money for civil rights movement in the South, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, etc.

Ella Baker died on her birthday, December 13, 1986 at the age of 83, in New York City.