Ella Baker devoted her life to participating in events that were focused on obtaining equality for African-Americans. She worked with civil rights organizations such as NAACP and help to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). When a group of students decided to challenge segregated seating laws at F.W.Woolworth lunch counters in North Carolina, Baker aided them in establishing a student-led organization. It was named the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC pronounced SNICK). She was involved with efforts to register African- Americans to vote and in 1963 she and Bayard Rustin coordinated the August 18, 1963, March on Washington. It was there that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. I was involved in the organization of the march for the state of Connecticut but I, unfortunately, never met her. During the later part of her life, she devoted her efforts towards women's issues. She often spoke of the discrimination that she experienced from African-American men in leadership positions during the civil rights movement. Baker's life lets us know that one person can make a difference. 2005, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Ages 10 to 16.
Introducing the events, people, and time lines that make up the history of the African American experience, this series brings to life the movers and shakers of the civil rights movement. The series as a whole presents the background and viewpoints of several key players in the movement, adding a balance and depth missing from many one-volume texts that portray similar information. Each book could be read and enjoyed individually as a recreational read or used for a research source for an individual or historical event. In Freedom Cannot Rest, Ella Baker is revealed to be a courageous young woman who grew up with ties to slavery in the south. She was raised in a predominantly segregated neighborhood and attended Shaw Academy and University, founded during Reconstruction as the Baptist Institution for Negroes. After college she found herself in Harlem where she became an active participant in the culture and politics of the time. Given her strength of character, education and contacts made during the Harlem Renaissance, it was no surprise that she became one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement. Throughout her lifetime, she held many offices and positions within the NAACP, co-founded the Young Negroes' Cooperative Council, In Friendship, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party as well as helping to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This series is engaging, thorough, thought provoking, and would be an excellent addition to any public or school library. With the extensive bibliographic notes included in each volume, the student can easily find supplemental information on any or all topicsintroduced. Other titles in the series include No Easy Answers: Bayard Rustin and the Civil Rights Movement, A. Philip Randolph and the African-American Labor Movement both by Calvin Craig Miller, and A Stranger in My Own House: The Story of W. E. B. Du Bois by Bonnie Hinman. (Civil Rights Leaders). VOYA CODES: 5Q 2P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Morgan Reynolds, 176p.; Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology., PLB . Ages 11 to 18.
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Gr 7 Up-Bohannon's biography joins Joanne Grant's 1998 work on the same subject. Both authors wrote about a life long neglected, but worth telling about. Baker was a major player in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. She was the principal organizer of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. A selfless fighter for the rights of black Americans, her achievements have often been overlooked. The fact that she was a woman in male-dominated organizations certainly did not help. Lately, however, she has, like Bayard Rustin, become the subject of more critical scrutiny. Grant had the great advantage of knowing and working with Baker, and her biography has an almost elegiac quality. Bohannon is more objective and makes good use of vintage photographs, artwork, and text boxes that further explain historical events. For teens, her biography might be a good place to start to get a good overview of Baker's life and the times in which she lived. For readers who want a more detailed view of Baker's accomplishments, Grant's book is the logical next step.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.