Ann Braden
(1924 — 2006)

As remembered by:
Joan Browning   
John Due
Ted Glick
Ira Grupper
Dorie Ladner
Ken Lawrence
David Nolan
Efia Nwangaza   
Gwen Patton
Larry Rubin   
Rohn Webb

As remembered by Ted Glick


Some very sad news to pass on. Anne Braden died this morning at a hospital in Louisville. She was taken there on Saturday suffering from pneumonia.

To find out more about plans for Anne's funeral and a memorial service, or to send a contribution in Anne's name, you can contact the Kentucky Alliance at 3208 W. Broadway, Louisville, Ky. 40211, 502-778-8130,

We have lost another great warrior in the struggle for racial justice and equality, but without question, her spirit and her example live on in the lives of many whom she influenced and inspired.

Ted Glick

As remembered by Dorie Ladner
March 16, 2006

I was very impressed with the commitment and passion that Anne and Carl showed during the early years of the struggle when it was not popular. As for me, a young black female, born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, they inspired me to go on to see what the end was going to be. Anne, in her quiet soft-spoken way showed up where she was needed. I remember her in Natchez. The National guard had placed a curfew on its residents. This didn't bother Anne. She went with us to canvass for the right to vote, and attended nightly mass meetings. Both she and Carl spent a great deal of time at Mt. Beulah teaching us about citizenship and telling us about their years of struggle in Kentucky. They were determined, and NEVER TURNED BACK.

Dorie Ladner

As remembered by Ken Lawrence
March 16, 2006

This morning I received a letter "From the Desk of Anne Braden," a fund appeal for Resist. Like Joe Hill and countless other dedicated comrades, she is still carrying on her organizing work.

I first met Anne at the October 1960 SNCC conference at Morehouse College in Atlanta. I went to work for her in August 1971, as Deep South Correspondent for the Southern Patriot. We worked together to build the National Anti-Klan Network in the 1980s.

My check to Resist will be dedicated to continuing Anne's work.

Ken Lawrence
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

As remembered by Larry Rubin
March 13, 2006

Anne Braden was much more than a Movement "ally" who saw the wisdom of the black power direction. She and Carl were pioneers in the Movement we later joined. They helped pave the way for us. They fully understood the power of the South's black community and had to wait for the rest of us to catch up to their understanding. They risked their livelihoods and lives, and suffered jail, long before most of us joined the movement they helped create.

They dedicated their lives to the idea that the South has the potential for being the most politically and economically progressive area in the country, if only the average Southerner — both black and white — could be organized. They knew that the South's potential was why the powers-that-be worked so hard to maintain dictatorial control of the area.

When SNCC was being Red-baited, it distanced itself from the Bradens so as not to give more ammunition to the Senator Eastlands of the nation. Anne was hurt by SNCC's rejection of her — but she understood the politics and did what she could to help us, often in ways that were invisible to us.

Anne was a central figure in my life. I knew about her and Carl through The Wall Between years before I met her in 1962 when working for SNCC's SW Georgia Project. Years later, when the "whites should organize whites and blacks organize blacks and we'll come together later" idea was adopted, I worked for Anne and Carl's Southern Conference Educational Fund in Pike County, Kentucky.

I can testify that from the beginning Anne and Carl believed SNCC should take leadership of the Southern movement. It's to Anne's credit she made SNCC people feel they were the leaders and she "just" an "ally."

 — Larry Rubin

As remembered by Joan Browning
March 9, 2006

It is almost impossible for me to comprehend that Anne Braden has died. Instead of a memorial tribute to her, I offer this introduction of Anne that it was my honor and privilege to make last year about this time. When Rose Gladney retired from the University of Alabama, some of her friends began an endowed lecture in her name. Anne was the second Rose Gladney Justice and Social Change lecturer. Last night, I watched about two hours of Anne lecturing last year in Alabama. She was so vigorous and so right on point.

After the lecture, I got in line with students to ask Anne to inscribe my copy of Catherine Fosl's marvelous work about Anne and her times, Subversive Southerner. This morning, I read with tears and pleasure and gratitude what Anne had written: "For Joan — whose work as both an activist and a writer is helping to strengthen "the other America." Anne Braden, 3/10/05."

I treasure all my memories of Anne and will hold fast to that inscription if ever I am tempted to cease acting and writing from "the other America."

Tomorrow, I shall drive six hours to Louisville and six hours back home in order to be with others at Anne's funeral service. This is precious time, as following in the best of what I learned in the Movement, I am now a candidate for one of Greenbrier County, West Virginia's two seats in the state House of Delegates. I know now why it is called "running" for public office! I began my campaign with a quote from Ms. Ella Baker. I hope Anne would be pleased that I've tossed my bonnet into the political fray.

Joan C. Browning
PO Box 1147
Lewisburg WV 24901-4147

As remembered by John Due
March 9, 2006

Anne Braden's "Finding the other America"

I first met Anne Braden and her husband in Indianapolis,. Indiana, when she and her husband joined us in our NAACP picketing of a night club across from the Greyhound Bus Station. I believe it was about 1958. They were friends of John Preston Ward, my mentor, who, in addition to being the local NAACP lawyer, was the Director-Counsel of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. John and I were also the Braden's guest at their Louisville home.

As I became aware of their story in the "Wall Between" and the persecution by the State of Kentucky and the UnAmericans Activities Committee, I remembered walking by the old home of Eugene Debs, the radical labor leader, in Terre Haute, Indiana, that somebody was still maintaining as a historical site. (I was raised in Terre Haute) and the similarity of the persecution of the Braden's, for their treason of selling a house in a white neighborhood to a Black person, to the persecution of Eugene Debs for opposing America in getting involved in world war I because it was a war between two sets of capitalist imperialist tyrannies.

I will always appreciate Ann because she was a force in the movement to help us be aware that there must be a freedom movement that would be beyond what has now been called a civil rights movement. If Ann has left us with any disciples who are committed to her ideas, I hope that her ideas could obtain some permanency by being connected to the "Critical Race Theory" movement which has become identified with Derrick Bell, especially to his book, "Silent Covenants", and Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform.

Ann was the first one to help me to understand that the "Other America" was the real america that signed the Declaration of Independence as a contract of freedom by the people as promoters whose benefits were accepted by the new United States and constitution. But the contract was sabotaged by corporate america and the cotton growers by means of puritan based racialism.

Therefore, the Black freedom movement was not a new revolution, but was, in sense, a resistance movement, a movement to recover and complete the American revolution about which the "silent covenant" sabotuers are still in control.

The next generation must be called to continue and complete the American revoluton. Recently, there has been a gathering which has adopted what is called "The Covenant with Black America". Recently, I sent a note to my daughter, Tannarive Due, that in response to her excitement from participation in this gathering, I said that I hoped there was thinking abour a "Black Covenant with America" that would help save America.

Another Due Memory of Ann Braden.

I am sure that veterans could gather and tell their stories about Ann Braden for years. But when the history of the Freedom Movement of the 60's is told, the Braden's must have a necessary place in this history. It has been ironic that the Southern Regional Council in recent years have honored her role-when most of us remember the efforts of SRC and other liberal organizations and personalities who were more worried about Communist infiltrators than our adversaries.

It was the December of 1963. I was in my last year of law school at FAMU in Tallahassee. There was a lull in the demonstrations. Patricia, the CORE leader, was tired and was leaving Tallahassee and move to New York. I told her that I would drive her to New York-by way of Indianapolis, where my mother lived-and she bought it.

Driving north on 31, around Birmingham, I proposed to her-and she accepted. When we arrived in Louisville, KY, we stopped by the Braden's house and had a lunch -and there was Ivan Donaldson with his car load of supplles-dlriving to Mississippi.

You know the rest of his story for being arrested in Miss for his aspirins.

John Due

As remembered by Efia Nwangaza
March 9, 2006

Thanks Gwen,

Ann's consistency, between theory and practice, especially on Black self-determination deeply endeared her to me and stands as a model for all who would claim to be our ally.

efia nwangaza

As remembered by Gwen Patton March 8, 2006

We have lost a brave heart and soul in Anne Braden. When SNCC issued the call for Black Power, most of our friends abandoned us. Not so of Anne. She did not only accept the challenge, but she gave real meaning to one of our Movement anthems: Heed the Call Americans All, Side by Equal Side. Brothers Sit in Dignity, and Sisters Sit in Pride.

Anne heeded the call to organize white people to fight racism in the white community, from the hills and hollows of Appalachia to the swank, urban cities in the South.

Anne s profound analyses of racism went beyond those who committed racist acts — commission — to include those who did nothing in the presence of racism — omission. Both groups were equally guilty as perpetrators of racism.

Anne always talked about a vision of the world free of cold war tactics, racism, oppression and economic exploitation. Her last message to us was this vision of Finding the Other America.

Anne was not only concerned with fighting racism, but more importantly with undoing racism as a necessary transformation on human and institutional levels.

Many of our freedom warriors are now dancing with our ancestors. My cousin Claire Milligan offers: Heaven's stocking up & leaving the mantle to us.

Gwen Patton

As remembered by David Nolan
March 7, 2006

Below is my contribution to any memories you publish about Anne Braden. I sent it out to the SSOC List [Southern Students Organizing Committee], but she was such a beloved benefactress of every part of the movement that I am sure it will be of interest to others. What losses we have faced in recent months! What extraordinary heroes we have been blessed with!

Warmest regards,
David Nolan

As remembered by Ira Grupper
March 7, 2006

Contained in the Talmud is the following gem: It is not given to us to complete the task. Nor may we remove our hands from the plow. Anne Braden did not complete the task. None of us living today has completed the task. But it can be said with assurance, indeed with certitude, that Anne Braden never, never, never removed her hands from the plow.

A Song For Anne Braden, words and music by Ira Grupper

In love and struggle,
March 2006

As remembered by Rohn Webb
March 7, 2006




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