Ella Baker was a Civil Rights Movement era activist who worked with notable organizations such as SNCC, NAACP, and SCLC. She believed the movement was an important force, not just for the freedom of black people, but for all people. Baker said that “even if segregation is gone, we will still need to be free; we will still have to see that everyone has a job. Even if we can all vote, but if people are still hungry, we will not be free…Singing alone is not enough; we need schools and learning…Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all of mankind.”
The first Ella Baker Day was created in Virginia in response to then Governor Bob McDonnell's declaration of April as Confederate History Month. McDonnell stated, “People of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence.” Confederate History Month is annually honored by seven states; there are also celebrations for Confederate Memorial Day and days in honor of Confederate Leaders: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson.
A day in honor of Ella Baker would not only bring much needed attention to the contributions of women and women of color, but it would also recognize Baker as one of this nation's greatest activists who worked tirelessly to better the living conditions and opportunities for those less fortunate. So to honor that spirit and keep Baker’s legacy alive, we ask you to Support Ella Baker Day! Sign the Petition, Start a Campaign in Your State, Spread the Word!