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Rev. Willie Barrow: Remembering 'The Little Warrior'

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A woman of God known as The Little Warrior died this week. The Reverend Willie Barrow was 90. She marched with Dr. King in Selma and Chicago, but was an activist long before, as a 12-year-old in 1936 in a small town in Texas, when she said she asked the driver of a whites-only school bus why she and her classmates couldn't ride, too. You got plenty of room, she told him. Why do you want me to get off; because I'm black? We got to change that. The Reverend Barrow was small, wiry and a grand presence in a pulpit or behind a bullhorn. She became the first executive director of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's operation PUSH. President Obama said of Willie Barrow I was proud to count myself among the more than 100 men and women she called her godchildren and worked hard to live up to her example. I still do. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.