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Let It Shine: Ella Josephine Baker

Summer Book Club Read on Stories of Black Female Freedom Fighters

This summer we're reading Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters.

Ella Baker was a brilliant, Black hero of the Civil Rights Freedom Movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. Ms. Baker played a key role in some of the most influential organizations of the time, including the NAACP, Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, according to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights,

And according to Wikipedia, "Baker criticized professionalized, charismatic leadership; she promoted grassroots organizing, radical democracy, and the ability of the oppressed to understand their worlds and advocate for themselves. She realized this vision most fully in the 1960s as the primary advisor and strategist of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Baker has been called "one of the most important American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement." She is known for her critiques not only of racism within American culture but also of sexism within the civil rights movement."

In learning about Ella Josephine Baker, answer the following questions:

  1. Define the term "Resilience."

  2. Would it be accurate to describe Ella Josephine Baker as "Resilient"?

  3. Compare and contrast different examples of resilience you have experienced personally, with instances explored in the story.

  4. What role does resilience play in the story?


Harlem youth can attend Book Club classes live on Zoom on Wednesdays at noon through August 14, 2020. Parents, sign up your student(s) for Virtual Summer Programming at

To learn more about our Virtual Summer Programming, click here.

BGCHarlem 2020 Book Club made possible by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

BGCHarlem would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the donation of our Summer 2020 Book Club books in our Summer Fun Kits for summer campers toward the amplification of Black voices through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Equity Initiative. Click here to learn more about HMH's Books for Equity Initiative.

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