Ella Baker Title for Young Adults, “We Who Believe in Freedom” Now Available

Civil Rights activist Ella Baker.

Ella Baker was an often overlooked, amazing organizer and pioneer in the struggle for racial justice. She grew up in Littleton, N.C., and has been called “the mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” A new title for young adult readers, “We Who Believe in Freedom,” published by the Historical Research Office of the N.C. Office of Archives and History, is now available.

The publication is the second volume in the True Tales for Young Readers series from the Historical Research Office. Author Lea Williams is an independent scholar and former administrator at Bennett College and N.C. A&T State University, both in Greensboro. The book is distributed by the University of North Carolina Press.

Baker is best known for organizing a meeting at Shaw University, her alma mater, in April 1960, that gave rise to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced snick) and helped inform the young activists on philosophy and social justice movements. The students were called the “shock troops” of the movement.

She led membership campaigns for the NAACP, and had the gift of empowering ordinary people to fight for their rights. She was an ally of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and had helped form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. She mentored many of the men who became much better known in the fight for Civil Rights.

This short biography is intended for middle and high school students. “I think it will make a wonderful contribution to school libraries and will be of great interest to all who are interested in North Carolina history,” observes historian and author David Cecelski.

The title will be available through the Museum of History shops, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

For additional information, contact the Historical Research Office at (919) 807-7290. The Historical Research Office in the Office of Archives and History is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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