We celebrate Ella Mae Wade Brayboy, an organizer whose work exemplifies the mission and philosophy of 9to5 Atlanta. Because of 9to5’s commitment to registering and mobilizing women, young adults, low income people and communities of color we want to recognize the work of this remarkable woman.
Ella Mae Wade Brayboy is known as the “Godmother of voter registration.” She was a native Atlantan who aided in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1964, she became one of Georgia’s first deputy voter registrars. That decade, she registered a record 10,000 black voters. Ella Mae worked as the congressional aide to former United States Representative Andrew Young. She served as the Director of Affairs for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for fifteen years and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King’s registration drive. She served as the chair of Resource Development for the Fulton County Council on Aging, where she succeeded in getting seniors half-price taxi fares.
Ella Mae also had a hand in the creation of voter precincts and she helped place voter registration in the Atlanta Public Library System. In addition, she helped residents in the Pittsburgh community of Atlanta get indoor plumbing, electricity, and natural gas service. Ella Mae also implemented innovative programs in the city to specifically empower women to deal with the challenges of motherhood as well as overcome domestic violence and unemployment.
9to5 Atlanta is building a movement to achieve social and economic justice by engaging directly affected women. Although Ella Mae Wade Brayboy was not a member of 9to5, she epitomized the values that 9to5 supports. Her organizing efforts created social reform within the city of Atlanta that aided people in their journey to achieving justice.
We celebrate and honor Ella Mae Brayboy, the “Godmother of voter registration,” during Black History Month.Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education. (n.d.). Atlanta in the Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved from Atlanta in the Civil Rights Movement: http://www.atlantahighered.org/civilrights/essay_detail.asp?phase=4 Badie, R. (2010, November 14). Ella Mae Brayboy, 92, Godmother of Voter Registration. Retrieved from Atlanta Journal Constitution: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/ella-mae-wade-brayboy-92-the-godmother-of-voter-re/nQm3C/