Today is the birthday and death anniversary of one of the most famous unsung heroes in our country. Ella Baker. She would have been 110 years old. Today is her 27th death anniversary. Ella Baker was the type of revolutionary that understood that the movement is not about being the one who gets more exposure or the person that everyone talks about. She was all about the people. She was the type of revolutionary who dedicated her life to the struggle of human rights, the type of person that clearly understood that one doesn’t have to get the limelight to fight for freedom of others. She the female version of Bayard Rustin. Both of them did so much for the civil rights movement behind the scenes.
So much can be written about Ella Baker. What matters is that we apply her teachings and implement her ideas on grassroots organizing to systemically change our system. The best way to honor and pay tribute to Ella Baker is to get involved and organize our communities. Continue to fight for the human rights of all people. She once famously said, “We who in believe in Freedom cannot rest.”
We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when our country continues to invade and occupy foreign countries.
We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when Palestinians continue to be treated like 2nd class citizens in their own land and Israel continues to have the apartheid wall.
We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when NSA has already invaded the privacy of most Americans and tapped all cell phones, read our emails and listen to the conversations of foreign leaders.
We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when homelessness continues to be an issue that people ignore and countries nationwide are criminalizing people for sleeping on the streets.
We who believe in Freedom cannot rest until we as a people start changing and realizing that the reason of our existence lies in using our gifts for the greater good of Humanity. When we are able to recognized that the beauty of life is found in upholding the human rights of all people and providing people with the basic human needs and working to abolish systems that seek to impose barriers on people’s dignity, human rights and way of life, then only then will we rest. Until then, we who believe in Freedom cannot rest.
Here is a great article about Ella Baker.
Here is my favorite song that honors Ella Baker.