The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. -Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells was a courageous activist, feminist, teacher, journalist, and publisher. She was also founder of the first anti-lynching campaign of the 1890s, as well as several civil rights and women’s organizations including the National Association of Colored Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
She was one of the most prominent journalists of her time, and through her writing, under the pen name, Iola, she brilliantly wrote about the racism, disenfranchisement, and injustices she’d witnessed and experienced. In fact, she was so dedicated that she would often put her own life on the line traveling in the South to research lynching incidents that were happening. Ida eventually became an owner of the newspaper, Free Speech, for which she’d written and published numerous articles.
Other facts about Ida B. Wells;
- At the age of 16 she took on the responsibility of caring for five brothers and sisters after her parents died from an outbreak of yellow fever.
- She took her anti-lynching campaign to the White House calling for President McKinley to take action and make reforms.
- She was known as Iola, “Princess of the Press”
- She sued the railroad and won a settlement of $500 in circuit court after she was refused a first class seat (which she bought) and was forcibly removed from a train. This incident inspired her desire to write about racial discrimination and social injustices.
Learn more about her in this video:
Ida B. Wells is definitely a Phoenix. If she did it, we know YOU most certainly can! Be self-love in action.
Celebrate Black History Month.