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Quotations/Quotes by Ella Baker - Ella Baker Quotes

Quotations/Quotes by Ella Baker - Ella Baker Quotes


You didn't see me on television, you didn't see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don't need strong leaders.

Ella Baker

Strong, News Stories, Play save quote report   
In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.

Ella Baker

Order, Remember, Has Beens save quote report   
Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.

Ella Baker

Mother, Country, Believe save quote report   
I have always thought that what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others.

Ella Baker

Leadership, People, Development save quote report   
Oppressed people, whatever their level of formal education, have the ability to understand and interpret the world around them, to see the world for what it is, and move to transform it.

Ella Baker

Moving, People, World save quote report   
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 mankind.

Ella Baker

Fighting, Civil Rights, Spirit save quote report   
In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed... It means facing a system that does not lend its self to your needs and devising means by which you change that system.

Ella Baker

Meaningful, Self, Order save quote report   
Give light and people will find the way.

Ella Baker

Happiness, Success, Uplifting save quote report   
We who believe in freedom cannot rest.

Ella Baker

Believe save quote report   
The major job was getting people to understand that they had something within their power that they could use, and it could only be used if they understood what was happening and how group action could counter violence.

Ella Baker

Jobs, Power, People save quote report   
There is also the danger in our culture that because a person is called upon to give public statements and is acclaimed by the establishment, such a person gets to the point of believing that he is the movement.

Ella Baker

Believe, Giving, Culture save quote report   
I didn't break the rules, but I challenged the rules.

Ella Baker

Break save quote report   
I have always felt it was a handicap for oppressed peoples to depend so largely upon a leader, because unfortunately in our culture, the charismatic leader usually becomes a leader because he has found a spot in the public limelight.

Ella Baker

Leader, Culture, Slavery save quote report   
Martin [Luther King] wasn't, basically, the kind of person - certainly at the stage that I knew him closest - wasn't the kind of person you could engage in dialogue with, certainly, if the dialogue questioned the almost exclusive rightness of his position.

Ella Baker

Kings, Kind, Luther save quote report   
My theory is, strong people don't need strong leaders.

Ella Baker

Strong, War, People save quote report   
One of the things that has to be faced is the process of waiting to change the system, how much we have got to do to find out who we are, where we have come from and where we are going.

Ella Baker

History, Waiting, African American save quote report   
I had known, number one, that there would never be any role for me in the leadership capacity with SCLC. Why? First, I'm a woman. Also, I'm not a minister. And second, I am a person that feels that I have to maintain some degree of personal integrity and be my own barometer of what is important and what is not.

Ella Baker

Integrity, Numbers, Important save quote report   
I came out of a family background that involved itself with people.

Ella Baker

People, Backgrounds, Involved save quote report   
I don't know, except that the only simple answer, I think, is that SCLC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] had never really developed an organizing technique. I've always characterized the difference in saying that they went in for mobilization. And, to be honest, in terms of the historical facts, their mobilization usually was predicated upon some effort at organizing by someone else. And, at this stage, it was largely SNCC.

Ella Baker

Simple, Thinking, Differences save quote report   
I think you can find some rationales for that if we look at the background out of which he came. Martin [Luther King] had come out of a highly competitive, black, middle-class background.

Ella Baker

Kings, Thinking, Class save quote report   
I believe, the NAACP began to try to organize parents of Negro children to file petitions with the boards of education regarding the integration of the school system. You had some very severe economic reprisals against people in Mississippi and in South Carolina. So, in order to try to help to meet some of the physical needs and the economic needs of people in Clarendon County [SC] who had been displaced from the land, and otherwise, and in certain sections of Mississippi, we organized in New York City something called "In Friendship".

Ella Baker

New York, Children, Believe save quote report   
I think personally, I've always felt that the Association [NAACP] got itself hung-up in what I call its legal successes. Having had so many outstanding legal successes, it definitely seemed to have oriented its thinking in the direction that the way to achieve was through the courts.

Ella Baker

Thinking, Association, Way save quote report   
I didn't have any close relationship with him because, although [William Edward Burghardt] DuBois may not have been as egocentric - I don't know - he certainly was not the easiest person to approach. I think, certainly, those of us who were younger sort of respected that in terms of his preoccupation with deep thoughts. So, I made no effort to establish any relationship with him. However, he was in and out then.

Ella Baker

Thinking, Effort, Deep Thought save quote report   
I've never credited myself with a professional life. But, basically, it has been that.

Ella Baker

Has Beens, Professional Life save quote report   
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was more politically oriented. Part and parcel of the initial SNCC efforts was to not only go in for voter registration, but for political participation.

Ella Baker

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