FINDING NEW (S)HEROES
"Somewhere along the way she recognized that her goal was not a single 'end' but rather an ongoing 'means,' that is, a process. Radical change for Ella Baker was about a presistent and protracted process of discourse, debate, consensus, reflection, and struggle. If larger and larger numbers of communities were engaged in such a process, she reasoned, day in and day out, year after year, the revolution would be well under way. Ella Baker understood that laws, structures, and institutions had to change in order to correct injustice and oppression, but part of the process had to involve oppressed people, ordinary people, infusing new meanings into the concept of democracy and finding their own individual and collective power to determine their lives and shape the direction of history. These were the radical terms that Ella Baker thought in and the radical ideas she found for with her mind and her body. Just as the 'end' for her was not a scripted utopia but another phase of struggle, the means of getting there was not scripted either. Baker's theory of social change and political organizing was inscribed in her practice. Her ideas were written in her work: a coherent body of lived text spanning nearly sixty years."
— Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision