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Lift As You Climb

The Story of Ella Baker


Margaret K. McElderry Books

(Simon & Schuster)

(pub. 6.9. 2020) 48 pages

Author: Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie

Character: Ella Baker

Overview: "Long before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, Ella Baker worked to lift others up by fighting racial injustice and empowering poor African Americans to stand up for their rights. Her dedication and grassroots work in many communities made her a valuable ally for leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she has been ranked as one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement. In the 1960s she worked to register voters and organize sit-ins, and she became a teacher and mentor to many young activists." Tantalizing taste:

"All over the South

Ella made speeches

about freedom -

voting -

rights -

words straight from her heart

to the hearts of her audience.

Then she'd ask


And something more: Patricia Hruby Powell writes in the Author's Note: "Anyone who worked for the Black Freedom Movement (or for the Women's Movement) in the 1960s knew Ella Baker. But because she worked behind the scenes and didn't care about the spotlight, nor believed in following a charismatic figure or being followed, she is less known than she should be."


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