Hello again readers,
February’s flying by and the semester seems to be in full swing. As we continue Black History Month, I thought I’d muse on one of my personal idols, Ida Bell Wells.
Wells was a woman who, regardless of risk or threat, wrote about what was important and fought about what was right and made her name as a journalist, activist, and leader
Born in 1862 to a family newly freed, Wells was the first in her family and one of few African American women of the time, to be college educated, attending Rust College. However, when her parents died and her siblings threatened to be separated, she left college and worked as a teacher to support her family and keep them together. Wells would eventually continue her education at Fisk University and Lemoyne-Owen College where she began to write about her views on women’s rights. However, in 1884 after she was removed from a train for fighting against segregated placement, she fully began to write about her own and others’ experiences and mistreatments. In 1892, she wrote a series of exposès on the lynching of African American men and continued to write for multiple publications under the duress of death threats and thousands of angry readers.
Wells would join the suffrage movement, speak on tour in Britain, and fight for those who couldn’t speak for themselves while balancing life as a mother and wife.
As a journalist, Wells refused to back down and as an activist, she knew issues like Women’s Rights and African American Rights could not be dissected. She was intersectional and interdimensional, not entertaining that one right should be withheld from another.
One of history’s most tenacious Journalists, Ida B Wells shows when you know something should be said and when it’s right, you should never back down.