9 Facts About Brave Journalist Ida B. Wells

9 Facts About Brave Journalist Ida B. Wells


Jul 16, 2015

Thursday's Google Doodle was dedicated to the intelligent and brave journalist, Ida B. Wells. Her world was plagued with injustice and cruelty, but luckily she was bold enough to fight back while inspiring others.

Learn a little more about Ida's story below:

1. She was born on July 16, 1862, in Holly Springs, Miss. (If she were alive today, she’d be 153 years old!)
2. She was born into slavery, just before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. 
3. After a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, Ida and her five siblings were left orphaned when she was 16 years old.
4. 71 years before Rosa Parks, Ida refused to give up her first class seat on a train in 1884. She was dragged off the train and would eventually sue the railroad for her treatment. Later that year, she won her case and was granted a $500 award. 
5. She wrote weekly articles for The Living Way weekly newspaper under the pen name “lola.” She mostly wrote about race issues, which helped her gain popularity among the community. 
6. After the lynching of her friends, she urged blacks to flee Memphis. Over 6,000 followed her warnings and left the city while others boycotted businesses. When violently threatened, she bought a pistol and wrote, "They had made me an exile and threatened my life for hinting at the truth."
7. This experience drove her to research and document the causes of lynching. She went into investigative journalism by closely looking at the charges given for the murders. 
8. Eventually, she officially started her anti-lynching campaign. She spoke at various black women’s clubs and raised over $500 to investigate lynchings and publish her results. 
9. Alongside Frederick Douglass and other black leaders, Ida helped organize a black boycott of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago for their failure to include exhibits that represented African-American culture. 

NEXT: The Long History of Black Feminism »

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Photo Credit: Google and Wikipedia

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