Ella Baker: “Developing Community Leadership”

(1970)

Much of what Ella Baker said and wrote has been lost. She did not commit her speeches to paper, and the ones that survive have been reconstructed from notes or tapes made while Baker spoke. Although she gave many interviews in the 1970s and 1980s, only a few have been published, including “Developing Community Leadership,” which offers the reader insights into her thinking and her priorities during the time she organized local civil rights groups, sometimes at the risk of her life. In this interview she discusses the importance of organizing the civil rights struggle at the community level.

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Black man approaching the ”colored" entrance of a cinema in Waco, Texas (Library of Congress)

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