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An Analysis on the Works Of Ida B. Wells Essay

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In the words of Miss Ida B. Wells: The student of American sociology will find the year of 1894 marked by a pronounced awakening of the public conscience to a system of anarchy and outlawry which had grown during a series of ten years to be so common, that scenes of unusual brutality failed to have any visible effect upon the humane sentiments of the people of our land. She is depicting a period of time in American history stained with the blood of hundreds of free African American men, women and children. These people were unjustly slaughtered through the practice of lynching within the South. Wells was an investigative journalist and was involved in exploring, reporting, publishing literature on, and eventually campaigning against the tragedy that became lynching. Through initial research she became aware of these atrocities occurring as spectacle within an alarmingly large, and even more notably, segregated, population of the United States. She dedicated over a decade to her cause, publishing three pamphlets in eight years, while also traveling to England twice to gain support for her anti-lynching campaign. In reading her work, one may get the feeling that Wells really was a master of her craft. She became aware of an extremely barbaric aspect of society, and she utilized every asset available to her in order to expose the facts surrounding the half-truths and whole lies established to justify this inhumane act. She diligently gathered the truth and compiled her writing very carefully. Using reliable statistics employed to document the atrocious number of these occurrences and actual accounts of individual events used to precisely convey the gruesome details of the crimes, she put forth exceptionally convincing arguments an...


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...nd it was through her continuous attention to reporting detail that she was able to have such an effect on the society. The accounts of lynchings throughout her works are horrific and proved extremely difficult to read. Although the inclusion of these appalling descriptions adds the extra emphasize needed to really send the message home that something needed to be done about the problem at hand. It is not until we face the brutal facts that we are able to fully understand an issue in entirety. In 2009, “15,241 people were murdered; an estimated 88,097 were forcibly raped, and another estimated 806,843 were victims of aggravated assaults nationwide.” When presented in such alarming statistics, those nameless murders and rapes the local newscaster slips into her monologue every night become slightly less forgettable.



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Southern Horrors and Other Writings


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