Born into the United States’ last days of slavery, Ida B. Wells was raised to fight. The daughter of two politically active entrepreneurs, she wanted to raise herself and her siblings into the middle class. But while emancipation may have passed into law, new structural barriers emerged to keep women like Wells out – out of the economy, out of the political system, and out of first class train carriages. When a conductor tried to force Wells into the smoking car on a ride from Memphis to Nashville, Wells took a stand. The event launched a writing and activist career that would see her tackle some of the greatest injustices of her age – and ours. Her reports, Southern Horrors and The Red Record, laid bare the horror of lynchings in the South and she would go on to found a number of Civil Rights organisations – some of which survive today. She was also a suffragist unafraid to call out the movement for its lack of Black representation – an intersectional feminist well before her time!
Join us to discover more about one of the most influential figures of the Civil Rights Movement, a woman whose work lives on in those continuing the fight for Black Lives Matter today.
DuRocher, Kristina. Ida B. Wells: Social Reformer and Activist. 2017. Routledge Historical Americans.
Dickerson, Cailtin. “Ida B. Wells: Took on Racism in the Deep South with Powerful Reporting on Lynchings.” New York Times. 9 March 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked-ida-b-wells.html