Please feel free to post any ideas about Richard Wolff’s lecture or the Ella Baker film here.
Some of the major takeaways I’d encourage us to reflect upon from the Baker piece are below:
Baker centralized community self-determination, grassroots leadership development, group-centered leadership (particularly with women and youth), & collective decision-making. As she observed, “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.” She also encouraged “avoiding struggles for personal leadership” and critiqued the SCLC’s top-down leadership paradigm. Rather, Baker advocated that organizers develop leadership that could even withstand their deaths. This advocacy of movements not revolving around one known member will become particularly relevant for our discussion about COINTELPRO’s attempt to decapitate social movements by neutralizing/liquidating leadership next week.