Ida B Wells Crusade For Justice, Autobiography Of Ida B. Wells

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Ida B. Wells, Crusade for Justice, Autobiography of Ida Wells, is an excerpt from the autobiography of Ida B. Wells. In it she tells a story about three African American men who owned a grocery store. In the same neighborhood there was another grocery store owned by a white man. One day some white and colored boys were playing a game of marbles and it ended in a fight. It came out that the store was going to be attacked that Saturday night. They got several men to stand guard at the store with guns and when they saw some men entering the store they started shooting. There were some men who were wounded. Over 100 black men were taken from their homes and put in jail. They finally pulled Thomas moss, Calvin McDowell and Henry
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If Southern white men are not careful they will overreach themselves and a conclusion will be drawn which will be very damaging to the moral reputation of their women.” TWE pp355.
Because of this editorial, Wells was run out of Memphis and had a “price put on [her] life.” TWE pp355. Now that she was in a place where she could safely write the truth, she wrote a 7 column article giving names, dates and places of lynchings for Negroes who had allegedly raped white women which the New York Age published on their front page. Wells had proof that these so called rapes were not rape at all. Wells recalls in her autobiography how white masters have had access to their slave women’s bodies since the beginning of slavery, and even sold their children by their slaves into slavery. But it was unthinkable that their women might be attracted to black or mulatto men. She believed that the white southern men were still upset that they did not have control over the Negroes and did not have them as their source of income. The lynchings were a way to scare away colored men who might be interested in having a sexual relationship with a willing white woman. While white men still raped or had sexual relations with black women, black men were being burned, lynched and tortured. Casting the Negro race in the role of rapists ensured that they would not find friends or supporters for their
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Wells was born in 1862 in Mississippi . She was sixteen when her parents were killed in a yellow fever epidemic, leaving her and her siblings to fend for themselves. To take care of the siblings she loved she got a job as a teacher and then as a journalist. In 1889 she purchased a part of an African American newspaper called the Free Speech. She was driven out of Memphis, TN in 1892 after writing an editorial about white men who were quick to accuse black men of rape. She moved to Chicago and in 1895 she married Frederick Barnett who was also a journalist and activist. She was considered a “race woman”. Meaning that she was more concerned with the betterment of the African American race than integration with whites. Wells was concerned for her people, especially when she saw evidence that many men were being killed for crimes that they did not commit. She became very vocal about it and put her life at risk to try to stop these
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