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Ella Josephine Baker (1903-1986) was among the most influential strategists of the most important social movement in modern US history, the Civil Rights Movement, yet most Americans have never heard of her. Behind the scenes, she organized on behalf of the major civil rights organizations of her day - the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) , the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) , and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) - among many other activist groups. As she once told an interviewer, "[Y]ou 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 pieces together out of which I hoped organization might come.

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