Ida B. Wells

Last year I did one or two biographies for Black History Month. I don’t think I’m going to do that for the most part this year, but since I neglected to publish my biography for my favorite historical African American figure, I figured why not start things off right?
When I first learned about Ida Wells I was in elementary school. I learned that she was a journalist and that she wrote about the evils of lynching and that two of her friends were lynched. I always figured that she was a very brave person to write against lynching at that time, but I got an entirely different perspective once I read some of her writings. Ida Wells called out the fact that a lot of lynchings were hidden behind the fear of the compromise of the virtues of white women. She was fierce. And smart. And smart. She was a very strong woman in her faith, too.
After she got married and started having children, she took a break so that she could take time with her children. She wasnt trying to have it all at once. Like I said, she was smart. She told the truth as she saw it. Sometimes it brought her into conflict with other black people. Sometimes it brought her into conflict with so called liberal thinking white people. She was one of the founders of the NAACP. She was a bad woman. Through her paper, the Free Speech, she was encouraging a streetcar boycott in Memphis after a lynching. The white streetcar operators came to the newspaper to politely ask for blacks to once again patronize the streetcar. IN THE 1890S!!!
One time, there were these men in Mississippi who were on death row because of a monetary dispute (which consisted of black laborers not getting paid for their work and asking questions) and Ida Wells came to town posing as a relative of one of the inmates. She sneaked into town, got the information and printed a pamphlet that got so much publicity in the United States and abroad that the men were released. She did some mighty things because she felt they were right. How great is that.

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