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“We Who Believe in Freedom” The Life & Times of Ella Baker is the second volume in the True Tales for Young Readers series, published by the Office of Archives and History in the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. This short biography of the civil rights leader is intended for middle school and high school readers. Ella Baker, who grew up in Littleton, North Carolina, is best remembered for the role she played in facilitating in April 1960 the organizational meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Shaw University, her alma mater. With passion and clear understanding, Lea Williams outlines the life that brought Baker to this crucial point in U.S. history.

Lea E. Williams, independent scholar in Greensboro and former administrator at Bennett College and North Carolina A.&T. State University, teaches ESOL classes at Guilford Technical Community College. Williams is the author of Servants of the People: The 1960s Legacy of African American Leadership (1996, 2009) in which she profiles eight leaders in the civil rights movement.

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Order through your local bookseller or the University of North Carolina Press for $17 plus sales tax and shipping. Learn More

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Estimated publication date: October 2017, est. price: $17, ISBN 978-0-86526-488-5


“I think this is a splendid book: historically sound, knowledgeable of the times in which Ella Baker lived, and highly sensitive to Ella Baker’s roots, philosophy, and legacy. I think it will make a wonderful contribution to school libraries and will be of great interest to all who are interested in North Carolina history. It was a pleasure to read, it will be widely appreciated, and I am sure that many people will, like me, find it inspiring.” 

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