Ida B. Wells: Journalist and Activist

0 Posted by - September 5, 2022 - Black History, BLACK WOMEN, CIVIL RIGHTS, JIM CROW


Ida B. Wells, a founding member of the NAACP and prominent anti-lynching activist, found the voice to advocate for herself and her fellow African-Americans in a time when she held two strikes against her: being black, and being a woman.

Her childhood was hardly one of ease.  Born a slave in 1862, Wells found herself orphaned by yellow fever by the age of 16.  After dividing her time raising her six siblings, attending Rust College, and teaching, Wells pursued an activist lifestyle beginning with a train ride from her home in Memphis and her job at a rural school.  When asked to move to the smoking car, Wells refused, prompting the conductor and several passengers to attempt to physically remove her from the train.  After a lengthy court battle which first found in her favor and later was overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court, Wells would turn to editorials to pursue her desire for equality against the system that sought to keep blacks inferior to whites.

After three of her friends were lynched following a business dispute in which they were out-performing white competitors, Wells raised her voice to shout the truth about lynching in the American south.  She published a pamphlet entitled “Southern Horrors” in 1892, a book entitled “A Red Record” in 1895, and gave numerous lectures on the topic that challenged the “rape myth” that typically precipitated many episodes of lynching.  Wells found instead that blacks successfully challenging white authority politically or economically, rather than accusations of rape, were all that lynch mobs typically required to commit heinous acts of murder against their fellow Americans.  The exposition of this truth enraged many white southerners, prompting them to destroy a newspaper she was part-owner of and threaten her life, forcing her to flee Memphis.

After time abroad in England where she established the British Anti-Lynching Society, she returned to the United States to settle and marry in Chicago, Illinois.  She would later join the Niagara Movement as well as aid Du Bois in his establishment of the NAACP, cementing her place among African Americans’ earliest leaders and helping to intertwine the Women’s Suffrage Movement with the Civil Rights Movement of black Americans.

Read more of the original article on at

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


  • Tawana Tena May 30, 2019 - 12:15 pm

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your put up is just great and that i could suppose you are knowledgeable in this subject. Well together with your permission allow me to grasp your RSS feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thank you one million and please carry on the enjoyable work.|

  • Matlene June 9, 2019 - 7:45 pm

    How Much Is Viagra Without Insurance Acheter Cialis En Ligne Pas Cher Amoxicillin Child levitra overnight delivery Priligy Does It Work

  • Matlene June 16, 2019 - 5:08 pm

    Propecia Transaminasas Buy Levitra?20mg priligy de 30 o 60 When Does Cephalexin Expire Discount Clobetasol Cash Delivery Tab Pharmacy Zithromax For Pyelonephritis

  • Javier Deakins June 18, 2019 - 2:27 am

    This is a cool post thanks a lot.