[Marxism] My statement on behalf of Ella Baker Day (Virginia)

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Thu Feb 14 11:03:39 MST 2013


(I am among a good number of people asked to provide a short reminiscence of Ms. Ella J. Baker -- in support of Ella Baker Day in Virginia.  This is mine.  My oldest son, John, met her at a conference at Jackson in 1979.)


This is a strong statement on behalf of Ella Baker Day. A long time community organizer and professor,  I was privileged to personally know Ms. Baker quite well from the very early 1960s into the 1980s. I heard of her and her very significant and seminal roles in the Civil Rights Movement almost as soon as I joined the faculty at Tougaloo College in Mississippi in 1961.  We were staff colleagues together in the activist Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) from 1963 to 1965 -- a major period in the Movement -- and I worked closely with her in 1966 and 1967 when I was involved in Southern grassroots anti-poverty organizing.  I shall always remember my fine, long visit with her at her Harlem apartment in 1977.  And I occasionally saw and remained in contact with her for some years thereafter.

At one point, late fall of 1963, we traveled together for several weeks in the Midwest and the Far West, building support for the Civil Rights Bill which, of course, became the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Ms. Ella Baker's splendid qualities were, of course, myriad -- among them:  keen intellect, sharp insight, high courage, a strong commitment to the everyday needs of those "people of the fewest alternatives" and, simultaneously, an equally strong visionary sense of a much better world over the mountains yonder.  She always -- always -- remained vigorously and vitally committed to the functional recognition of the great capabilities of grassroots people in achieving and maintaining a genuinely democratic and egalitarian society.

Hunter Gray (John R. Salter, Jr.)

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis 
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk 
Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO
www.hunterbear.org 
(much social justice material)

I have always lived and worked in the Borderlands.

See my piece ON BEING A MILITANT AND RADICAL
ORGANIZER -- AND AN EFFECTIVE ONE (Mississippi et al.):
http://crmvet.org/comm/hunter1.htm

The Stormy Adoption of an Indian Child [My Father]:
http://hunterbear.org/James%20and%20Salter%20and%20Dad.htm
(Expanded in Fall 2012. Photos. Material on our Native
background.) 

See the new and expanded/updated edition of my very well-reviewed 
"Organizer's Book" -- the inside story of the massive Jackson
Mississippi Movement, the murder of Medgar Evers, and more.
And with my new and very substantial introduction:
http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm





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