Unsatisfied, she enlisted the social reformer Jane Addams in her cause. ... O God, is there no ... justice in this land for us?"[17]. [123][124][125], In 2006, the Harvard Kennedy School commissioned a portrait of Wells. Wells. [147], The PBS documentary series American Experience aired on October 24, 1989 – season 2, episode 4 (one-hour) – "Ida B. If Ida B. Wells, (1862-1931) teacher, journalist and anti-lynching activist. Wells Barnett Award Reception", UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, "Playing the Transatlantic Card: The British Anti-Lynching Campaigns of Ida B. [118], In 1988, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. Wells, Second Edition (Negro American Biographies and Autobiographies) by Ida B. Meanwhile, she extended her efforts to gain support of such powerful White nations as Britain to shame and sanction the racist practices of America.[47]. The three men were arrested and jailed pending trial.[19]. When he died in 1895, Wells was perhaps at the height of her notoriety, but many men and women were ambivalent or against a woman taking the lead in Black civil rights at a time when women were not seen as, and often not allowed to be, leaders by the wider society. The WCTU was a predominantly White women's organization, with branches in every state and a growing membership. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Wells Receives Pulitzer Prize Citation: 'The Only Thing She Really Had Was the Truth, "Letter to the Editor: Ida Wells an inspiring heroine for International Women's Day", "Protesters Hang an 'Ida B. For webquest or practice, print a copy of this quiz at the Ida B. Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her four children, 1909 On June 27, 1895, in Chicago at Bethel AME Church, Wells married attorney Ferdinand L. Barnett , [61] a widower with two sons, Ferdinand Barnett and Albert Graham Barnett (1886–1962). She believed that during slavery, White people had not committed as many attacks because of the economic labour value of slaves. Wells. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. And Ida B Wells had been investigating lynchings and writing news articles for more than a decade before the organization came to exist. The store was located in a South Memphis neighborhood nicknamed "The Curve". Ida B. During her summer vacations she attended summer sessions at Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville. Wells was born into slavery on July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi as the oldest of eight children. [62], Wells' marriage to Barnett was a legal union as well as a partnership of ideas and actions. "[87][88][89], Although Willard and her prominent supporter Lady Somerset were critical of Wells' comments, Wells was able to turn that into her favor, portraying their criticisms as attempts by powerful White leaders to "crush an insignificant colored woman. Ida B. Ida B. The Biblical "Samson," in the vernacular of the day, came from Longfellow's 1865 poem, "The Warning," containing the line, "There is a poor, blind Samson in the land ... " To explain the metaphor "Sampson," John Elliott Cairnes, an Irish political economist, in his 1865 article about Black suffrage, wrote that Longfellow was prophesizing; to wit: in "the long-impending struggle for Americans following the Civil War, [he, Longfellow] could see in the Negro only an instrument of vengeance, and a cause of ruin". Family of Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship", Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia, "Letter from Frederick Douglass to Ida B. [78] After her death, the Ida B. Soon after moving to Memphis, Wells was hired in Woodstock by the Shelby County school system. She is an American Hero. Wells was the founder/co-founder of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Alpha Suffrage Club, National Afro-American Council The stamp, designed by Thomas Blackshear II, features a portrait of Wells illustrated from a composite of photographs of her taken during the mid-1890s. [4], In June 2020, during the George Floyd protests in Tennessee, protesters occupied the area outside the Tennessee State Capitol, re-dubbing it "Ida B. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum is located at the Spires Bolling House in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where Wells-Barnett was born. Wells , Alfreda M. Duster , et al. Wells: An Intimate Portrait of the Activist as a Young Woman (which was actually later published and edited by her daughter). [134] This organization was created with much support from the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. "[20], Wells' anti-lynching commentaries in the Free Speech had been building, particularly with respect to lynchings and imprisonment of Black men suspected of raping White women. Wherever she saw injustice against African Americans, she worked to set it right. Ida B. Wells", "Ida B. [57] Its founding members included many notables such as the Duke of Argyll, Sir John Gorst, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Henry Somerset and some twenty Members of Parliament,[58] with activist Florence Balgarnie as the honorary secretary.[59]. [23], On May 21, 1892, Wells published an editorial in the Free Speech refuting what she called "that old threadbare lie that Negro men rape White women. She worked with national civil rights leaders to protest a major exhibition, she was active in the national women's club movement, and she ultimately ran for the Illinois State Senate. [1] Over the course of a lifetime dedicated to combating prejudice and violence, and the fight for African-American equality, especially that of women, Wells arguably became the most famous Black woman in America.[2]. "[26], A White mob ransacked the Free Speech office, destroying the building and its contents. Contains correspondence, manuscript of Crusade for Justice: the Autobiography of Ida B. … As a result of her two lecture tours in Britain, she received significant coverage in the British and American press. Her husband, Rev. Wells, Judicial System", "History: Movement to Honor Anti-Lynching Crusader and Journalist Ida B. Wells Ida B. [42], According to the Equal Justice Initiative, 4084 African Americans were lynched in the South, alone, between 1877 and 1950,[43] of which, 25 percent were accused of sexual assault and nearly 30 percent, murder. Wells: The 'Drive' in Her Name – A Long Wait for a Distinguished Lady", "Daughter of Slave Fights for Racial Justice", "National Association of Colored Women's Clubs", "Ida B. [97], The prospect of passing the act, even one of partial enfranchisement, was the impetus for Wells and her White colleague Belle Squire to organize the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago on January 30, 1913. Ida B. Wells-Barnett : Iola, Princess of the Press & Feminist Crusader for Equality and Justice By Kiilu Nyasha. While continuing to teach elementary school, Wells became increasingly active as a journalist and writer. Once slavery ended, Ida attended Shaw University (now Rust College) along with her mother who attended school long enough to learn how to read the Bible. [92] The organization, in rented space, served as a reading room, library, activity center, and shelter for young Black men in the local community at a time when the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) did not allow Black men as members. [146] The Memphis Memorial Committee, alongside the Neshoba Community Center, will be seeking to honor Ida B. Mayo was a well-known writer and poet who wrote under the name of Edward Garrett. She started a number of clubs and organizations including the Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was a newspaper editor and journalist who went on to lead the American anti-lynching crusade. Wells Battled Jim Crow in Memphis", College of Fellows of the American Theatre, "8 – White Women and the Campaign Against Lynching: Frances Willard, Jane Addams, Jesse Daniel Ames", Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition: The Afro-American Contribution to Columbian Literature, "Announcement of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners – Special Citation: Ida B. Her father, James, was a carpenter and her mother, Elizabeth, was a famous cook. Wells Elementary is a neighborhood school that is committed to ensuring students receive high levels of instruction. After hiring an influential Pittsburgh attorney, Thomas Harlan Baird Patterson (1844–1907), he prevailed and Offet was pardoned by the Ohio Governor. After moving to Tennessee when she was about 20, Wells began writing for Black newspapers, speaking out against segregated schools—which which forced Black children to go to separate schools—and other forms of discrimination in the southern states. Wells Club went on to do many things. Offet was convicted of rape and served four years of a 15-year sentence, despite his sworn denial of rape (the word of a Black man against that of a White woman). Wells, Who Took on Racism in the Deep South With Powerful Reporting on Lynchings", "Theater Review; A Pageant Based on History, With Songs That Yearn", "Ida B. She was a spokeswoman and an advocate for women being successful in the workplace, having  equal opportunities, and creating a name for themselves. Wells and Barnett had met in 1893, working together on a pamphlet protesting the lack of Black representation at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Wells by Victoria Johnson “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. [67] For the new leading voices, Booker T. Washington, his rival, W. E. B. Ida B. Awards have been established in her name by the National Association of Black Journalists,[110] the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University,[111] the Coordinating Council for Women in History,[112] the Type Investigations (formerly the Investigative Fund),[113] the University of Louisville,[114] and the New York County Lawyers' Association (awarded annually since 2003),[115] among many others. Angry about the previous day's mêlée, Barrett responded that "Blacks were thieves" and hit McDowell with a pistol. Eventually Wells had to leave the South forever. In 1862, Ida B. Ultimately, Wells-Barnett concluded that appealing to reason and compassion would not succeed in gaining criminalization of lynching by Southern Whites. Ida B. Frederick Douglass had written an article noting three eras of "Southern barbarism" and the excuses that Whites claimed in each period. [154], Books, journals, magazines, academic papers, online blogs, * indicates award given to widow in year after his death, African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, and civil rights activist, Early career and anti-segregation activism, Anti-lynching campaign and investigative journalism, From "race agitator" to political candidate. A story broke January 16, 1892, in the Cleveland Gazette, describing a wrongful conviction of a sexual affair between a married White woman, Julia Underwood (née Julie Caroline Wells), and a single Black man, William Offet (1854–1914) of Elyria, Ohio. [107], Wells began writing her autobiography, Crusade for Justice (1928), but never finished the book; it would be posthumously published, edited by her daughter Alfreda Barnett Duster, in 1970, as Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. The Illinois Presidential and Municipal Suffrage Bill of 1913 (see Women's suffrage in Illinois) gave women in the state the right to vote for presidential electors, mayor, aldermen and most other local offices; but not for governor, state representatives or members of Congress. She lived in Chicago until 1986, when she moved to California. Wells: An Intimate Portrait of the Activist as a Young Woman (which was actually later published and edited by her daughter). To keep her younger siblings together as a family, she found work as a teacher in a Black elementary school in Holly Springs. Both women had read of the particularly gruesome lynching of Henry Smith in Texas and wanted to organize a speaking tour to call attention to American lynchings. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi. [100], As Wells and Squire were organizing the Alpha Club, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was organizing a suffrage parade in Washington D.C. Ida Bell Wells (July 16, 1862 to March 25, 1931), better known as Ida B. Since then she has produced about 20 more books and about 3 children. [94], In the years following her dispute with Willard, Wells continued her anti-lynching campaign and organizing in Chicago. [60] Despite these attacks in the White press, Wells had nevertheless gained extensive recognition and credibility, and an international audience of White supporters of her cause. More than seven decades before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, Ida B. Wells to launch an anti-lynching crusade from Memphis in 1892 using her newspaper, Free Speech. Suffragist. On the day of the march, the head of the Illinois delegation told the Wells delegates that the NAWSA wanted "to keep the delegation entirely White",[102] and all African-American suffragists, including Wells, were to walk at the end of the parade in a "colored delegation". She then went to his office and lobbied him. ", May 7, 1913: Senate Bill 63 – State Senator Hugh Stewart Magill, Jr. (1868–1958), from, June 11, 1913: The House posed a stiffer challenge, right up to the day of the vote. Ms. Wells was disappointed that not much information was written about her so she wrote two autobiographies before her death: The Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. But we've had enough of it. Some stormed her office and destroyed her press. Wells' as a prominent figure in Memphis's history by installing a statue in her memory. Her father, James, was a carpenter and her mother, Elizabeth, was a famous cook. 9. Wells did the same in a “Whites Only” train car in Tennessee. She also attended Lemoyne-Owen College, a historically Black college in Memphis. [93] During her involvement, the NFL advocated for women's suffrage and supported the Republican Party in Illinois. [20], Thomas Moss, a postman in addition to being the owner of the People's Grocery, was named as a conspirator along with McDowell and Stewart. He refused to vote for Democratic candidates (see Southern Democrats) during the period of Reconstruction, became a member of the Loyal League, and was known as a "race man" for his involvement in politics and his commitment to the Republican Party. The articles told the truth about what was happening to Black people, but the stories made people angry. It also covered Black peoples' struggles in the South since the Civil War. [citation needed], Wells was an active member of the National Equal Rights League (NERL), founded in 1864, and was their representative calling on President Woodrow Wilson to end discrimination in government jobs. Wells, 1892–1920", Center for the Study of the American South, Black Woman Reformer: Ida B. Two years after its founding, the club played a significant role in electing Oscar De Priest as the first African-American alderman in Chicago. But, given power relationships, it was much more common for White men to take sexual advantage of poor Black women. She was the eldest child of James Madison Wells (1840–1878) and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Warrenton). Ida B Wells Wells married Chicago lawyer and newspaper editor Ferdinand Barnett and, uncommonly for the time, hyphenated her name rather than take his. Our only knowledge of it comes from reprinted articles in other archived newspapers. Ida B. Even after marriage and motherhood, Ida Wells-Barnett continued her crusades. 1), Ida B. t is with no pleasure that I have dipped my hands in the corruption here exposed ... Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so. [105], In the 1920s, she participated in the struggle for African-American workers' rights, urging Black women's organizations to support the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, as it tried to gain legitimacy. An anti-lynching crusader, Ida B. Wells. [64], In a chapter of Wells' posthumous autobiography, Crusade For Justice, titled "A Divided Duty", she described the difficult challenge of splitting her time between family and work. She was interred in the Oak Wood Cemetary in Chicago. [80], Wells received much support from other social activists and her fellow club women. [17], In 1889, Thomas Henry Moss, Sr. (1853–1892), an African American, opened People's Grocery, which he co-owned. Ida B. [103], Instead of going to the back with other African Americans, however, Wells waited with spectators as the parade was underway, and stepped into the White Illinois delegation as they passed by. Wells, Introduction", "The Race Problem – Miss Willard on the Political Puzzle of the South", "The African-American Suffragists History Forgot", "Ida B. The Memphis Appeal-Avalanche reports: – Frederick Douglass (October 25, 1892)[21], Just before he was killed, Moss said to the mob: "Tell my people to go west, there is no justice here."[20]. [35], Wells, in Southern Horrors, adopted the phrase "poor, blind Afro-American Sampsons" to denote Black men as victims of "White Delilahs". [127], On February 12, 2012, Mary E. Flowers, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, introduced House Resolution 770 during the 97th General Assembly, honoring Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. [9] Wells had been visiting her grandmother's farm near Holly Springs at the time, and was spared. All rights reserved, How this journalist risked her life to report the truth. 91 likes. ... Because black people were free, the Wells children were allowed to go to school. he way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. [95][96][a] Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to give women these voting rights. In the eyes of the FBI, this made her a “dangerous negro agitator.” In the annals of history, it makes her an icon. The Ida B. Wells began writing for the paper in 1893, later acquired a partial ownership interest, and after marrying Barnett, assumed the role of editor. This children's picture book describes the life of Ida B. [55] She relied heavily on her pamphlet Southern Horrors in her first tour, and showed shocking photographs of actual lynchings in America. Wells Women’s Club and Alpha Suffrage Club, the first suffrage club for black women. Ida B. [116] In her hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi, there is an Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in her honor that acts as a cultural center of African-American history. Ida B. Ida B. Proceedings of the National Negro Conference, 1909. One of 10 children born on a plantation in Virginia, Lizzie was sold away from her family and siblings and tried without success to locate her family following the Civil War. Soon, Wells co-owned and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. "The colored race multiplies like the locusts of Egypt," she had said, and "the grog shop is its center of power. Frederick Douglass praised her work: "You have done your people and mine a service ... What a revelation of existing conditions your writing has been for me. Wells: A Figure of Resistance in American Popular Culture", Frances Willard House Museum and Archives, "Women Subjects on United States Postage Stamps", "African American Subjects on United States Postage Stamps", "Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. She found sympathetic audiences in Britain, already shocked by reports of lynching in America. Ida B. In 1928, she tried to become a delegate to the Republican National Convention but lost to Oscar De Priest. Wells-Barnett lived a life worth living and died in 1931 in Chicago at the age of 68. [117], In 1941, the Public Works Administration (PWA) built a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago; it was named the Ida B. Suffragist. Wells and The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi on July 16, 1862, less than a year before the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 freed enslaved people. Antilynching crusader. Ida and Ferdinand were a activist team, standing against racial and gender discrimination. Together with Frederick Douglass and other Black leaders, Wells organized a Black boycott of the fair, for its exclusion of African Americans from the exhibits. She went to work and kept the rest of the family together with the help of her grandmother. Here is what Michelle, Daniel and David Duster, the great-great grandchildren of Ida B. "[26], Despite Douglass' praise, Wells was becoming a controversial figure among local and national women's clubs. Wells continued to be an activist throughout the remainder of her career. Support from other social activists and her husband, Ferdinand L. Barnett had children., died of kidney failure on March 25, 1931, at the start of Black History in! Why wells ' father was a White mob ransacked the Free Speech and.. Seven grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren was spared its contents Silva: what are Anxiety and?... 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