Lift as You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker


Today, right before lunch, I read Lift As You Climb:  The Story of Ella Baker  written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.  I didn’t know who she was.  My history classes barely studied the Civil Rights Movement.  Basically, we learned about Martin Luther King Jr.  It’s likely even if we had studied it in depth, I still wouldn’t have heard her name.  The Author’s Note tells it like it is.  “Ella Baker, or Miss Baker as she was invariably called, was an anomaly in the Freedom Movement.  As an attractive, eloquent and poised lady with radical views, she fought the sexism that was so prevalent at that time (including in the SCLC and in the NAACP where she was hired or, “drafted”)”

During lunch is when I usually catch up on the previous days news.  Imagine my surprise when I listened to the beginning of Joe Biden’s acceptance speech while eating leftovers.

“Good evening.
Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.
Give people light.
Those are words for our time.”

-Joe Biden, August 20, 2020

Lift as You Climb repeats the question Ms. Baker asked many times, “What do you hope to accomplish?”  Joe Biden answered it last night.


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