IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Essay

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IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Ida B. Wells-Barnett is first among many. She was a civil servant and fought injustices amongst the black community. Ida was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. There she witnessed the Civil War and the dramatic changes it brought to her life. During Reconstruction she found possession of previously unheard-of freedoms, her civil rights. The most dramatic change was the institution of schools for the education of blacks. The establishment of the Freedman’s Aid Society founded by Shaw University, later renamed Rust College, and was where Ida attended classes. Ida possessed an interest in school, and she quickly worked her way through every book in the Rust College library. At an early age she …show more content…
There is nothing we can do about the lynching now, as we are outnumbered and without arms…There is therefore only one thing left we can do; save our money and leave town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, when accused by white persons.” (Hine, 28)

At the same time Wells saw what lynching really was; an excuse to “keep the nigger down”, and execute those “who acquired wealth and property.” (Duster, 64) This sparked her investigation into the causes of lynching-rape. In Crusade for Justice Ida, “stumbled on the amazing record that every case of rape reported became such only when it became public.” (Duster, 65) Since whites could no longer hold blacks as slaves they found in mob violence a different means of maintaining a system of “economic, psychological, and sexual exploitation.” (Klots, 42) In addition, the result of her investigation and editorial sparked the black community to retaliate and encourage all who could to leave, and those who stayed to boycott the city Railroad Company. Ida saw the success of the boycott, and asserted, “the appeal to the white man’s pocket has ever been more effectual than

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