(CBS) – Civil rights icon Willie T. Barrow is extremely ill and has been hospitalized, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. confirms to CBS 2.

Barrow, 90, helped found Operation PUSH and has made a mark in Chicago.

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The diminutive Barrow earned the nickname “Little Warrior” and was a field organizer for Martin Luther King Jr. junior in the 1950s and 1960s, including the march on Selma, Alabama.

She has said her interest in civil rights began in her home state of Texas. She and other black students protested that they were not allowed to ride school buses with their  white peers.

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