10/02/2011

Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker


Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation's most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 and died in Chicago, Illinois 1931 at the age of sixty-nine. In 1894, Ida B. Wells published A Red Record: She Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States, 1892-1894. This 100 page book expanded on her earlier research and documented the history of lynching since the Emancipation Proclamation. Wells tabulated the number of lynching reported in the Chicago Tribunal and tallied the various charges given. Her findings documented the alarming high occurrence of lynching and the rather ridiculous charges filed against black men. For example, she found that in 1894 "197 persons were put to death by mobs who gave the victims no opportunity to make a lawful defense". Furthermore, she found that over two-thirds of lynching were for incredibly petty crimes such as stealing hogs and quarreling with neighbors. http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/idabwells.html .

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