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9781591020080

On Lynchings
On Lynchings
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  • ISBN-13: 9781591020080
  • ISBN: 1591020085
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was born July 16, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi, the daughter of slaves. She was educated at Rust University, a freedment's school in Holly Springs. After the death of her parents and one of her siblings in a yellow fever epidemic, she began teaching in a country school at age sixteen. She continued to teach after moving to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1884 and attended Fisk University in Nashville during several summer sessions. In 1884 Wells sued the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad for having been forcibly removed from her seat after she had refused to move to the "colored only" car. Although she won her case in the local circuit court, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the decision in 1887, in defiance of the 1875 Civil Rights Act that prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or color in theaters, hotels, transports, and other public accommodations. Using the pen name "Iola," Ida B. Wells wrote newspaper articles in 1891 that were critical of the education available to African American children. When her teaching contract was not renewed, she turned to journalism, buying an interest in the African American weekly Memphis Free Speech. In 1892 three of her friends, owners of the People's Grocery Company, fought back when a white mob attacked their store. One of the attackers was shot. The owners were arrested, but a lynch mob broke into the jail, dragged the owners away, and murdered all three. Wells began an editorial campaign against lynching that led to the ransacking of her newspaper's office. She continued her antilynching crusade by moving to New York where she worked as a staff writer for the African American newspaper New York Age, published the pamphlet Southern Horrors (1892), and lectured and organized antilynching societies, speaking in Northern U.S. cities and in Britain. Wells moved to Chicago where she married Ferdinand L. Barnett, a lawyer and editor. They had four children. She contributed to her husband's newspaper, the Chicago Conservator, and to other local journals; published a detailed look at lynching in the pamphlets A Red Record (1895) and Mob Rule in New Orleans (1900); and was active in organizing African American women to confront issues from lynching to universal suffrage.Wells-Barnett, Ida B. is the author of 'On Lynchings' with ISBN 9781591020080 and ISBN 1591020085.

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