She was a spokeswoman and an advocate for women being successful in the workplace, having  equal opportunities, and creating a name for themselves. For example, there are differing in accounts for why Wells' name was excluded from the original list of founders of the NAACP. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images. Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Will Stewart started a grocery store, which drew customers away from a white-owned store in the neighborhood. Slavery ended the following year when Abraham … Perhaps the most notable example of this conflict was her very public disagreement with Frances Willard, the first President of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).[86]. For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching. In 1894, before leaving the US for her second visit to Great Britain, Wells called on William Penn Nixon, the editor of the Daily Inter Ocean, a Republican newspaper in Chicago. [126] In 2007 the Ida B. Wells Society makes a tangible impact on future and existing journalists of color and the promise of their work. Wells Memorial Foundation and the Ida B. Ida B. The couple had four children. Ida B. 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. [75] Wells later reported to Albion W. Tourgée that copies of the pamphlet had been distributed to more than 20,000 people at the fair. She is the 13th in the Postal Service's Black Heritage series. A lynch mob took them from their cells and murdered them. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Ida B. ’03), Ron Nixon and Topher Sanders, the society seeks to increase the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting. Wells, Judicial System", "History: Movement to Honor Anti-Lynching Crusader and Journalist 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". Wells had to be one of the most courageous people in American history. Wells, written by Wendy D. Jones (born 1953) and starring Janice Jenkins,[149] was produced. Ida B. Wells, one of the nation’s most influential investigative reporters, in 1920. She stayed in the North after her life was threatened and wrote an in-depth report on lynching in America for the New York Age. Wells began writing for the paper in 1893, later acquired a partial ownership interest, and after marrying Barnett, assumed the role of editor. The Extra Mile pays homage to Americans such as Wells who set aside their own self-interest in order to help others and who successfully brought positive social change to the United States. Around 2:30 a.m. on the morning of March 9, 1892, 75 men wearing black masks took Moss, McDowell, and Stewart from their jail cells at the Shelby County Jail to a Chesapeake and Ohio rail yard one mile north of the city and shot them dead. The couple had four children. "[26] The Evening Scimitar (Memphis) copied the story that same day, but, more specifically raised the threat: "Patience under such circumstances is not a virtue. Wells was not yet three when the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, so she had no personal memory of being enslaved. Wells, 1892–1920", Center for the Study of the American South, Black Woman Reformer: Ida B. Ida B. Wells gained publicity in Memphis when she wrote a newspaper article for The Living Way, a Black church weekly, about her treatment on the train. Ida B. Wells was one of the eight children, and she enrolled in the historically Black liberal arts college Rust College in Holly Springs (formerly Shaw College). She held strong political opinions and provoked many people with her views on women's rights. Wells and 'American Atrocities" in Britain", "Great Grandson of Influential Civil Rights Pioneer Ida B. She began to interview people associated with lynchings, including a lynching in Tunica, Mississippi, in 1892 where she concluded that the father of a young White woman had implored a lynch mob to kill a Black man with whom his daughter was having a sexual relationship, under a pretense "to save the reputation of his daughter. [146] The Memphis Memorial Committee, alongside the Neshoba Community Center, will be seeking to honor Ida B. Wells Museum have also been established to protect, preserve and promote Wells' legacy. Wells", "Quakers Against Racism: Catherine Impey and the, "Re-Embodying Ida B. [35], Wells, in Southern Horrors, adopted the phrase "poor, blind Afro-American Sampsons" to denote Black men as victims of "White Delilahs". Wells Society for Investigative Reporting was launched in Memphis, Tennessee, with the purpose of promoting investigative journalism. She helped in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The basis of their dispute was Wells' public statements that Willard was silent on the issue of lynching. When Wells learned that Terrell had agreed to exclude Wells, she called it "a staggering blow". Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher, in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. [26] A "committee" of White businessmen, reportedly from the Cotton Exchange, located Rev. [129], On July 16, 2015, which would have been her 153rd birthday, Wells was honored with a Google Doodle. Wells. [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]. African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. Wells resisted this proposition. James Wells' father was a White man who impregnated an enslaved Black woman named Peggy. Wells", "Ida B Wells, African American Activist, Honored by Google", "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. You probably have not heard her described this way before. Share: Twitter Facebook Email. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Born a slave in Holly Springs Mississippi, Ida B. Hundreds of Whites were deputized almost immediately to put down what was perceived by the local Memphis newspapers Commercial and Appeal-Avalanche as an armed rebellion by Black men in Memphis. When her lawyer was paid off by the railroad,[15] she hired a White attorney. In 1896, Wells took part in the meeting in Washington, D.C., that founded the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. The name was changed to the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in 2002. [98][99][page needed] One of the most important Black suffrage organizations in Chicago, the Alpha Suffrage Club was founded as a way to further voting rights for all women, to teach Black women how to engage in civic matters, and to work to elect African Americans to city offices. She married Ferdinand L. Barnett in 1895 and had a family while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights and the women's movement for the rest of her life. "The colored race multiplies like the locusts of Egypt," she had said, and "the grog shop is its center of power. Ida B. As she was being removed, she bit one of the crew members. The oldest of eight children, Ida B. She was active in women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, establishing several notable women's organizations. The Ida B. Wells Looks to Erect Memorial", "Issues Honor Ida B. Wells-Barnett gave 14 pages of statistics related to lynching cases committed from 1892 to 1895; she also included pages of graphic accounts detailing specific lynchings. Later, moving with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, she found better pay as a teacher. | Oct 31, 1995. Susan B. Anthony said she seemed "distracted". Ida B. But we've had enough of it. Though she is considered a founder of the NAACP, Wells cut ties with the organization because she felt it that in its infancy it lacked action-based initiatives. Work done by Wells and the Alpha Suffrage Club played a crucial role in the victory of woman suffrage in Illinois on June 25, 1913 with the passage of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Act. Wells met Garnet, she was living on De Kalb Avenue, where she hosted events like a black art exhibit that Wells reviewed. Ida B. [6] Before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Wells' parents were enslaved to Spires Boling, an architect, and the family lived in the structure now called Bolling–Gatewood House, which has become the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum. 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). Wells refused on principle, before being forcibly removed from the train. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi on July 16, 1862, less than a year before the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 freed enslaved people. Wells: An Intimate Portrait of the Activist as a Young Woman (Black Women Writers Series) by Ida B. Wells-Barnett , Miriam Decosta-Willis, et al. Nightingale and, although he'd sold his interest to Wells and Fleming in 1891,[27] assaulted him and forced him at gun point to sign a letter retracting the May 21 editorial. Despite being married, Wells was one of the first American women to keep her maiden name. [152], Wells' life is the subject of Constant Star (2002), a widely performed musical drama by Tazewell Thompson,[153] who was inspired to write it by the 1989 documentary Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship", Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia, "Letter from Frederick Douglass to Ida B. Wells had been invited for her first British speaking tour by Catherine Impey and Isabella Fyvie Mayo. Journalist Ida B. M y great-grandmother Ida B. [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. Wells-Barnett said that during Reconstruction, most Americans outside the South did not realize the growing rate of violence against Black people in the South. Wells called attention to the horrific treatment of black people through her investigative report, entitled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Miss. [31], According to Kenneth W. Goings, PhD, no copy of the Memphis Free Speech survives. Ferdinand Lee Barnett, who lived in Chicago, was a prominent attorney, civil rights activist, and journalist. [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. Wells Middle School, founded in August 2019 in Washington, DC, is a social justice schoolwide enrichment model (SEM) school that prioritizes providing a well-balanced, rigorous, and loving learning environment for students while also engaging and developing our … The decision was overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court. [84] Like all suffragists she believed in women's right to vote, but she also saw enfranchisement as a way for Black women to become politically involved in their communities and to use their votes to elect African Americans, regardless of gender, to influential political offices. Wells. On July 13, 2019, a marker for her was dedicated in Mississippi, on the northeast corner of Holly Springs' Courthouse Square. Wells was already out of town when she realized that an editorial she’d written had caused a riot. Postal Service dedicated a 25¢ stamp commemorating Wells in a ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Proceedings of the National Negro Conference, 1909. In September 1878, tragedy struck the Wells family when both of Ida’s parents died during a yellow fever epidemic that also claimed a sibling. Ida Bell Wells-Barnett lived in Chicago in this late-19th-century Romanesque Revival style stone residence while fighting to end lynching, segregation and the economic oppression of African Americans. Our only knowledge of it comes from reprinted articles in other archived newspapers. She also attended Lemoyne-Owen College, a historically Black college in Memphis. Ida B. The Extra Mile – Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a memorial adjacent to the White House in Washington, D.C., selected Wells as one of its 37 honorees. McDowell wrestled the gun away and fired at Barrett – missing narrowly. Charles Aked Barnett's middle name was the namesake of Charles Frederic Aked (1864–1941), an influential British-born-turned-American progressive Protestant clergyman who, in 1894, while pastor of the Pembrooke Baptist Church in Liverpool, England, befriended Wells, endorsed her anti-lynching campaign, and hosted her in during her second speaking tour in England in 1894. Creditors took possession of the office and sold the assets of Free Speech. In 1895, Wells married Ferdinand Barnett, with whom she had four children. Private giving and sponsorship of the Ida B. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of Whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition—and a subsequent threat of loss of power—for Whites. Wells to Beale Street more than 100 years after Wells was driven from Memphis. Wells is being honored at Union Station in Washington D.C., which, before the coronavirus pandemic, was one of the busiest train stations in the … Soon, Wells co-owned and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. Roth Horowitz Gallery, 160A East 70th Street, "Video" – In the videos, Schechter talks about Wells' experiences and legacy –, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 08:11. Both were journalists, and both were established activists with a shared commitment to civil rights. She also fought for woman suffrage. [3], In 2020, Wells was posthumously honored with a Pulitzer Prize special citation "[f]or her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching. Following this incident, Wells began writing about issues of race and politics in the South. [67] For the new leading voices, Booker T. Washington, his rival, W. E. B. [50][51] Her view of women's enfranchisement was pragmatic and political. Wells Club in her honor. Wells is an African American civil rights advocate, journalist, and feminist. Her feelings toward the Republican Party became more mixed due to the Hoover Administration's stance on civil rights and attempts to promote a "Lily-White" policy in Southern Republican organizations. Wells was an African American woman who lived in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. [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. The Wells became former …show more content… On a train ride from Memphis to Nashville, Ida was treated with disrespect and unequal accommodation. After the lynching of her friends, Wells wrote in Free Speech and Headlight urging Blacks to leave Memphis altogether: "There is, therefore, only one thing left to do; save our money and leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when accused by White persons. Wells Middle School, founded in August 2019 in Washington, DC, is a social justice schoolwide enrichment model (SEM) school that prioritizes providing a well-balanced, rigorous, and loving learning environment for students while also engaging and developing our … [7], After emancipation, Wells’ father, James Wells, became a trustee of Shaw College (now Rust College). The play is inspired by the real-life events that compelled a 29-year-old Ida B. Wells, and succeeded, making history in 1939 as the first housing project named after a colored woman. 1996 The Ida B. The three men were arrested and jailed pending trial.[19]. She was offered an editorial position for the Evening Star in Washington, D.C., and she began writing weekly articles for The Living Way weekly newspaper under the pen name "Iola". [45][46], Despite Wells-Barnett's attempt to garner support among White Americans against lynching, she believed that her campaign could not overturn the economic interests Whites had in using lynching as an instrument to maintain Southern order and discourage Black economic ventures. [69] However, in her autobiography, Wells stated that Du Bois deliberately excluded her from the list. She later became an owner of two newspapers: The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight and Free Speech. Wells sued the railroad, and won a $500 settlement in a circuit case court. [122], On February 1, 1990, at the start of Black History Month in the U.S., the U.S. Following the funerals of her parents and brother, friends and relatives decided that the five remaining Wells children should be separated and sent to various foster homes. It was the only major White paper that persistently denounced lynching. [130][131][132][133], In 2016 the Ida B. Moss's store did well and competed with a White-owned grocery store across the street, Barrett's Grocery, owned by William Russell Barrett (1854–1920). [43] Generally southern states and White juries refused to indict any perpetrators for lynching,[44] although they were frequently known and sometimes shown in the photographs being made more frequently of such events. It concluded, "We think it is evident that the purpose of the defendant in error was to harass with a view to this suit, and that her persistence was not in good faith to obtain a comfortable seat for the short ride. [19], On March 2, 1892, a young Black male youth named Armour Harris was playing a game of marbles with a young White male youth named Cornelius Hurst in front of the People's Grocery. Wells] is allowed to live and utter such loathsome and repulsive calumnies is a volume of evidence as to the wonderful patience of Southern Whites. Wells Barnett Award Reception", UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, "Playing the Transatlantic Card: The British Anti-Lynching Campaigns of Ida B. By portraying the horrors of lynching, she worked to show that racial and gender discrimination are linked, furthering the Black feminist cause. This was evident when in 1899 the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs intended to meet in Chicago. [56], On the last night of her second tour, the London Anti-Lynching Committee was established – reportedly the first anti-lynching organization in the world. Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi on July 16, 1862, Ida B. Wells-Barnett became an activist and suffragist honored for her pride in being an African-American woman. It draws on historical incidents and speeches from Wells' autobiography, and features fictional letters to a friend. Wells assumed custody of her siblings after the death of her parents and youngest siblings at the cause of the yellow fever epidemic. She stands as one of our nation's most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. "[153], Wells was played by Adilah Barnes in the 2004 film Iron Jawed Angels. After the war, her parents set a very clear example for her. Chicago History Museum/Getty Images. Ida B. [52] She was the first African-American woman to be a paid correspondent for a mainstream White newspaper. While on a train ride from Memphis to Nashville in May 1884, Wells reached a turning point. [118], In 1988, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She was also one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Du Bois, and more traditionally minded women activists, Wells often came to be seen as too radical. [134], In 2018, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened; it includes a reflection space dedicated to Wells, a selection of quotes by her, and a stone inscribed with her name. Get it as soon as Mon, Dec 14. Alpha Suffrage Club. [148] (viewable via YouTube), In 1995, the play In Pursuit of Justice: A One-Woman Play About Ida B. She leaves behind a legacy of social and political activism. The club organized women in the city to elect candidates who would best serve the Black community. Virus numbers by … The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation and the Ida B. In 1884, after moving to Memphis, Wells challenged one of the nation's first Jim Crow laws when she refused to leave the "whites only" ladies car for the smoke filled "colored car" on a train from the Poplar Station to northern Shelby County. Wells-Barnett explored these in detail in her The Red Record.[38]. Wells' Birthday", "Ida B. Bio: Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, more commonly known as Ida B. 1995 - Ida B. Wells-Barnett's house designated a Chicago Landmark. Wells was outspoken regarding her beliefs as a Black female activist and faced regular public disapproval, sometimes including from other leaders within the civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement. Ida B. [10] The previous year, the Supreme Court had ruled against the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875 (which had banned racial discrimination in public accommodations). A skilled and persuasive speaker, Wells traveled nationally and internationally on lecture tours. She found sympathetic audiences in Britain, already shocked by reports of lynching in America. "[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. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931), journalist, civil rights advocate, suffragist. Mr. Wells was involved with the Freedman's Aid Society and helped start Rust College. She notes that her data was taken from articles by White correspondents, White press bureaus, and White newspapers. Ultimately, Wells-Barnett concluded that appealing to reason and compassion would not succeed in gaining criminalization of lynching by Southern Whites. Her husband, Rev. Wells: Lynching Museum, Memorial Honors Woman Who Fought Lynching", "Ida B. But Calvin McDowell, who greeted Barrett, indicated that Stewart was not present. “I came home every Friday afternoon, riding the six miles on the back of a big mule. Wells left Memphis, Tennessee, in 1892, forced to stay away from the city after threats were made on her life and her office was destroyed. To keep her younger siblings together as a family, she found work as a teacher in a Black elementary school in Holly Springs. She is an American Hero. Isaac T. Underwood – after she confessed to him two years later – diligently worked to get Offet out of the penitentiary. 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. Ida B. [95][96][a] Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to give women these voting rights. Writing to the president of the association, Mary Terrell, Chicago organizers of the event stated that they would not cooperate in the meeting if it included Wells. In an interview, Wells' daughter Alfreda said that the two had "like interests" and that their journalist careers were "intertwined". [17] She referred to an interview Willard had conducted during her tour of the American South, in which she had blamed African Americans' behavior for the defeat of temperance legislation. [9] Wells had been visiting her grandmother's farm near Holly Springs at the time, and was spared. [93] During her involvement, the NFL advocated for women's suffrage and supported the Republican Party in Illinois. As the Black youth Harris began to win the fight, the father of Cornelius Hurst intervened and began to "thrash" Harris. [105][8], Wells-Barnett explained that the defense of White women's honor allowed Southern White men to get away with murder by projecting their own history of sexual violence onto Black men. It is located at 3624 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Chicago-- it is a private residence and not open to the public. [104], During World War I, the U.S. government placed Wells under surveillance, labeling her a dangerous "race agitator". She was the eldest child of James Madison Wells (1840–1878) and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Warrenton). In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States in articles and through her pamphlet called Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases, investigating frequent claims of Whites that lynchings were reserved for Black criminals only. Wells Homes in her honor. She is an American Hero. 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. In his autobiography Dusk of Dawn, Du Bois implied that Wells chose not to be included. On May 17, 1894, she spoke in Birmingham at the Young Men's Christian Assembly and at Central Hall, staying in Edgbaston at 66 Gough Road. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 — the Civil War was still going on, and she was still a slave. Wells was in New York at the time of the incident, which likely saved her life. [82][83], Wells' role in the U.S. suffrage movement was inextricably linked to her lifelong crusade against racism, violence and discrimination towards African Americans. Wells refused, and stood on the parade sidelines until the Chicago contingent of white women passed, at which point she joined the march. Wells" on Pinterest. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, in a photograph by Mary Garrity from c. 1893 This week, we are inspired by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the incorrigible equal rights activist who exposed the horrors of lynching in the Jim Crow south to the world. Wells was born a slave in 1862 in Mississippi, but was freed along with her family a year later when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.. Ida’s father, a master carpenter, was interested in furthering his own education, and Ida followed his footsteps in attending nearby Shaw … After brutal attacks on the African American community in Springfield, Illinois in 1908, Wells took action. 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. 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]. The chapter titled "Miss Willard's Attitude" condemned Willard for using rhetoric that promoted violence and other crimes against African Americans in America. [121] In 2011, Wells was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame for her writings. Although she tried to balance her roles as a mother and as a national activist, it was alleged that she was not always successful. By Patti Carr Black. [73], In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago. In 1895, wells reached a turning point her writings New leading voices, Booker T. Washington,,... 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