Today marks the 153rd birthday of Ida B. Wells. Born as a slave in 1862, she became one of the most prestigious and compelling journalists of all time. As an African American woman, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist for women’s rights, sociologist, and an early activist for the civil rights movement, Wells unmasked the monstrous and evil acts of lynchings in the South.
To protect her safety, Wells wrote her editorials under the alias name of Iola. Although many of her articles advocated against white violence toward blacks, Wells examined and touched on the lack of economic resources for blacks, poor school systems, and the failure of black people protecting and fighting for their own rights.
After the killing of a friend, Wells urged many blacks to leave Memphis due to the tormentation of whites. Wells later took her campaign on anti-lynchings and racism to England once her newspaper business was destroyed by a mob. She also helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Some of Wells’ works include ; On Lynchings, A Red Record, Mob Rule in New Orleans’, Southern Horrors, and The Light of Truth.
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
― Ida B. Wells-Barnett