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Willie Barrow
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    (December 1924-March 12, 2015)
    Born in Burton, Texas
    Birth name was Willie Mae Taplin
    Ordained minister and civil rights activist
    Field organizer for Martin Luther King, Jr
    Campaign manager for Jesse Jackson (1984,1988)
    President of Operation PUSH (1986-89)
    It is unclear whether her birth date was December 7 or December 17.
    She was nicknamed 'the Little Warrior' because she was 4'11 tall.
    She complained about a lack of mandatory black history classes.
    She said, 'I love my brother, Minister Louis Farrakhan' a year after Farrakhan called Judaism a 'gutter religion.'
    When she was 12, she organized a demonstration by her fellow black students to integrate the school buses in her hometown.
    When a bus driver confronted her, she said, 'Y'all can kill me if you want to. But I'm tired.'
    She handled logistics for events like the March on Washington (1963) and the Selma to Montgomery Marches (1965).
    She was married to Clyde Barrow for 56 years.
    Asked if the discovery that her son Kevin was gay changed their relationship, she replied, 'If anything, it drew us closer together, because I knew he needed special understanding, special communication. I went out of my way to show I loved him.'
    A teenaged Oprah Winfrey worked for her as an intern.

Credit: C. Fishel

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