Essay on Ida B. Wells Barnett

Essay on Ida B. Wells Barnett

Length: 1482 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“If it were possible, I would gather the race in my arms and fly away with them”, said Ida B. Wells-Barnett (Jim Crow Stories, 2002). The oldest of eight children, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 to Elizabeth and James Wells (Podesta, 2016). James Wells was the son of his master and a slave woman (Podesta, 2016). Her mother was a cook and her father was a carpenter. Although Ida was born into slavery, education played importance to both Elizabeth and James. James served on the first board of trustees for Rust College, a school founded and run by Northern Missionaries (The Gale Group, 2016). They were both interested in politics and were active in the Republican Party during the Reconstruction, according to a PBS profile of Wells-Barnett (Cleary, 2015). Ida was born six months before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves.
Ida was on track to complete high school, her parents and youngest sibling died along with 301 other residents of Holly Springs in 1878 due to the yellow-fever epidemic (Podesta, 2016). Following their deaths, Ida moved to Memphis, Tennessee with her aunt, where she attended Fisk University. Ida began teaching at the age of fifteen to support her younger brothers and sisters following the death of her parents (Carlton-LaNey, 1998). At age 16, Wells-Barnett became responsible for her younger siblings. She also convinced the superintendent that she was eighteen years old and obtained a position as a teacher that paid her twenty-five dollars a month (The Gale Group, 2016).
In 1895, she married Ferdinand Barnett, who shared her passion for civil rights. They had four children. On March 15, 1931, Wells-Barnett died of kidney disea...

... middle of paper ...

... 2015).
Wells’ was a committed campaigner for the rights of both women and African American regardless of gender, she never surrendered one group for the other, or the black women who tenanted both (Thomas, 2011). “Her willingness to recognize the limited roles and opportunities for black women made her a “woman before her time,”” Ms. Mayes said (Polke, 2015). Her creation of the Women’s Era club, offered women, especially black women, a public environment from which to build much desired political characters (Thomas, 2011). Wells-Barnett stood as a “one-man army” when it came to defending women, whether she did it on her own or with others. Wells-Barnett was considered a radical in her time because she continuously voiced her opinions of race and gender and even the fact, she spoke up about the issues she faced as a Black woman that some were scared to. (Ana, 2015).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Ida B. Wells Barnett Essay example

- Over the past couple centuries that the United States has existed, society has always had a judgement to make on one’s sexuality. At the head of society has consistently been white, Christian, hetereosexual males; therefore, they had the power to define sexual and societal norms. As a result, judgements on one’s sexuality have always intersected with one’s race, class or gender, groups of people that are not dominating society. One historical example of the exertion of dominance through societal norms and prejudices about sexuality is the numerous lynchings of black men during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century with the charge of raping white women....   [tags: Black people, White people, South Africa, Race]

Better Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)


- IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Ida B. Wells-Barnett is first among many. She was a civil servant and fought injustices amongst the black community. Ida was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. There she witnessed the Civil War and the dramatic changes it brought to her life. During Reconstruction she found possession of previously unheard-of freedoms, her civil rights. The most dramatic change was the institution of schools for the education of blacks. The establishment of the Freedman’s Aid Society founded by Shaw University, later renamed Rust College, and was where Ida attended classes....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Better Essays
1535 words (4.4 pages)

The Story of Ida B. Wells, a Slave Essays

- Ida B. Wells is many things. A mother, a journalist, a teacher, an anti-lynching crusader, a women’s rights activist, and a civil rights pioneer. But above all, she is a hero. She faced many challenges in her life, including being born into slavery, and being orphaned at the age of sixteen. But even with all that befell her, she still managed to pave the way to a better life for herself and others. Ida Bell Wells was born into slavery as the oldest of 7 children in Holly Springs, Mississippi on July 16, 1862....   [tags: women's right activist, civil rights pioneer]

Better Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Life and Achievemets of Ida B. Wells

- Ida B. Wells-Barnett dedicated her life to social justice and equality. She devoted her tremendous energies to building the foundations of African-American progress in business, politics, and law. Wells-Barnett was a key participant in the formation of the National Association of Colored Women as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She spoke eloquently in support of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The legacies of these organizations have been tremendous and her contribution to each was timely and indespensible....   [tags: african american, biography, civil rights]

Better Essays
2595 words (7.4 pages)

Ida Wells And Ida B. Wells Essay

- Ida Bell Wells, more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was born in Holly Springs Mississippi on the 16th of July in 1862. Ida was raised by her mother Lizzie Wells and her father James Wells. She was born into slavery as the oldest of eight children in the family. Both Ida’s parents were enslaved during the Civil War but after the war they became active in the Republican Party during the Reconstruction era. Ida’s father, James, was also involved in the Freedman’s Aid Society ( He also helped to start Shaw University....   [tags: African American, Southern United States]

Better Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Ida Wells : The Oldest Child Of Eight Children Essay examples

- Ida Barnett Wells was born a slave on July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She was the oldest child of eight children for her parents. Approximately six months after Ida B. Wells was conceived, African American slaves were ordered to be free by the Union, thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation. However, since Ida Wells’ family resided in Mississippi, they still were facing racial prejudices and were confided by discriminatory rules and practices (, 2002). Ida Barnett Wells’ parents were extremely involved in the Republican Party throughout the Reconstruction....   [tags: American Civil War, African American]

Better Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)

Lynching and Women: Ida B. Wells Essay

- Lynching and Women: Ida B. Wells Emancipated blacks, after the Civil War, continued to live in fear of lynching, a practice of vigilantism that was often based on false accusations. Lynching was not only a way for southern white men to exert racist “justice,” it was also a means of keeping women, white and black, under the control of a violent white male ideology. In response to the injustices of lynching, the anti-lynching movement was established—a campaign in which women played a key role. Ida B....   [tags: History Historical Essays]

Better Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Ida B. Wells : The Life And Times Of The Iconic Pen Warrior Essay

- Afia wa Mwenze Patrick McGuire Intro Journalism 14FA AC01 17 September 2014 Ida B. Wells: The Life and Times of the Iconic Pen Warrior “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” These words from Ida B. Wells clearly state the purpose of journalism, which is meant to enlighten people of the truths of their society. It is meant to help people find a place for themselves in the world. I chose Ida B. Wells because her legacy is too great not to share. She was a woman who refused to accept the world as it was....   [tags: African American, Black people, Lynching]

Better Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Ida B Wells' Role in the Civil Rights Movement Essay

- Throughout Ida B. Wells’ diary, she has many struggles, ups and downs. Her diary takes us from her young promiscuous days as a young woman with her various friends, callers, and not knowing who she really was to basically a travel log as a married lady who was well set, owned her own news paper, and a spokesman for blacks all across America. During these years, she goes through long stretches of depression and happiness. In her struggles of depression, Wells very much struggles with three particular concepts the most....   [tags: Ida Wells History US Civil Rights]

Free Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Ida B. Wells Essay

- Ida B. Wells was a woman dedicated to a cause, a cause to prevent hundreds of thousands of people from being murdered by lynching. Lynching is defined as to take the law into its own hands and kill someone in punishment for a crime or a presumed crime. Ida B. Wells’ back round made her a logical spokesperson against lynching. She drew on many experiences throughout her life to aid in her crusade. Her position as a black woman, however, affected her credibility both in and out of America in a few different ways....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)