Happy Birthday, Ida B. Wells!

1 Posted by - January 4, 2018 - BLACK WOMEN, CIVIL RIGHTS


Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was a journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She documented lynching in the United States, showing how it was often a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites.

She was active in the women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movements, establishing several notable women’s organizations. As a skilled and persuasive rhetorician, Wells often traveled internationally on lecture tours.

On July 16th, 2015, Google honored her 153rd birthday with a Google Doodle.

Throughout her life, Wells was militant in her demands for equality and justice for African-Americans and insisted that the African-American community obtain justice through its own efforts.

Since her death, interest in her life and legacy has only grown. Her life is the subject of a widely performed musical drama, which debuted in 2006, by Tazewell Thompson,Constant Star.

The play sums her up:

“…A woman born in slavery, she would grow to become one of the great pioneer activists of the Civil Rights movement. A precursor of Rosa Parks, she was a suffragist, newspaper editor and publisher, investigative journalist, co-founder of the NAACP, political candidate, mother, wife, and the single most powerful leader in the anti-lynching campaign in America. A dynamic, controversial, temperamental, uncompromising race woman, she broke bread and crossed swords with some of the movers and shakers of her time: Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Frances Willard, and President McKinley. By any fair assessment, she was a seminal figure in Post-Reconstruction America.”

On February 1, 1990, the United States Postal Service issued a 25-cent postage stamp in her honor.

In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante listed Wells on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.

In 1941, the WPA built the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago. The buildings were demolished in August 2011.

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Daily Black History Facts


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