Rev. Willie T. Barrow: Always Knowing Her Place–Everywhere.

Rev. Willie T. Barrow at the Addie Wyatt Hall of Honor induction ceremony in 2012. Courtesy of the Department of Labor

We’re a bit more than midway through March, and our celebration of Women’s History Month continues.

In the first of today’s two posts, I honor civil rights hero, Rev. Willie T. Barrow. She was 90.

I’ve always known my place, and my place has been, ‘I can preach. I can speak. And I can organize.’ All of that–that’s the trinity of my life. Rev. Willie T. Barrow

As Karen Grigsby Bates noted about Rev. Barrow on NPR’s Code Switch, “When [Rev. Jesse] Jackson became a presidential candidate in 1984, [Barrow] was a supporter, organizer and strategist who would not allow herself to be muscled aside by the mostly-male entourage. Like Shirley Chisholm, she would not be ignored or denied.”

Known as the “Little Warrior”–she stood tall at 4’11”–she was also a welder, union organizer, consumer advocate and minister. Along with Rev. Jackson, she co-founded Operation Breadbasket, which would evolve into the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. And she was also a mentor to many, including Barack and Michelle Obama.

In this video from the National Visionary Leadership Project, Rev. Barrow reflected on her work with Operation-PUSH.

Courtesy of the National Visionary Leadership Project

Rev. Barrow’s funeral will be held on Friday in Chicago. Rest well, Little Warrior.

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