Notecard - Ida B. Wells-Barnett | Syracuse Cultural Workers

Notecard - Ida B. Wells-Barnett

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Ida B. Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She arguably became the most famous African American woman in America during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence. She was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, she moved with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee where she found work as a teacher. She also co-owned a newspaper, the
Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

In 1892, her newspaper condemned the racist lynching of three African American men. The paper was destroyed by a mob, and facing death threats, she moved to Chicago. Ida became the leading voice against lynching in the US, exposing it as a terror tactic intended to intimidate and oppress African Americans.

She was outspoken regarding her beliefs as an African American female activist and faced regular public disapproval, including that of leaders with diverging viewpoints from both the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Suffrage movement.

In 1913, she refused to accept a segregated, march-in-the-rear suffrage march in Washington DC, marching instead with the Illinois delegation and supportive white allies.

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