Ida B Wells' Role in the Civil Rights Movement

Ida B Wells' Role in the Civil Rights Movement

Length: 930 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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. Wells has big problems her identity, the way black women were treated, and stereotypes of blacks.
In Wells’ younger days, she struggled tremendously with the concept of identity. She did not know who she was, where shit fit in, or what crowd she was in part. In her diary, she talks of how she despises racism and blacks who forget their culture, yet when it comes to her looks she dresses to the “white” standard of a proper lady. Wells does not even notice this as it is not just her, but a mindset that has already been developing around her which she has taken on, that the “white” standard of dress is what is proper. One thing Wells does notice though is that she does not fit in anywhere. In the text she talks of how she feels she does not fit her time’s standards as a black woman. This is because in her time not just black women but mostly all women were supposed to be in the private eye and men were in the public eye. Wells’ found herself in the public eye which was extremely unusual, her being black and a woman. This is why she did not fit in. Wells’ struggle with identity is very important because it shows how the younger years of your life are a growing period for a person to find one’s self and true purpose. Wells was conflicted all the way into her twenties until she decides to take action on what she has wanted to do which is to be a writer and use that to be the trumpet and voice of blacks and speak out against the unfair treatment of blacks in America. Wells had to struggle through her identity to find her true purpose. This happens to mostly everyone nowadays also, for example in college many students do not know what they want to do until almost their third or fourth year in.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Ida B Wells' Role in the Civil Rights Movement." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Sep 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=157084>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Research Papers
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Civil Rights And The Civil War

- *Political and civil rights were granted under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the US Constitution. However, often these rights were violated for Black Americans. Southern states created and followed the Jim Crow law which made segregation legal through legislation. After the end of the Reconstruction by the US government; many of the political leaders placed into office were the same ones that led the South during the Civil War. In turn, continuing with a feel of post-Reconstruction era....   [tags: Southern United States, African American]

Research Papers
805 words (2.3 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]

Research Papers
934 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Black Panther Party for Self Defense

- The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was the most significant activist group during the Civil Rights Movement Era. It was founded in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in October of 1966. The Black Panthers Party was founded to fight for and protect the rights of African Americans. Believing that the approach Martin Luther King Jr. was expressing would take too long, the approach Black Panther Party took was more along the lines of Malcolm X more aggressive theories rather than Martin Luther King Jr.’s more peaceful strategy....   [tags: Civil Rights]

Research Papers
1608 words (4.6 pages)

From Segragation to Racism Essay

- From Segregation to Racism During the 20th century there was segregation and racism in the United States. Many people believe these times are over but there is still an extreme amount of racism going on in the country today. During the 1900’s, leaders of all races (Black, Hispanics and whites) were fighting for equality. The majority of the black population was fighting for civil rights,better education, anti-lynching laws and equal opportunities. Jim crow laws, The KKK, and the horrible treatment towards minorities led to the continuance of racism in the country....   [tags: equality, civil rights, minorities]

Research Papers
1291 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Civil War, Life For African Americans

- In the years following the Civil War, life for African Americans changed. Consequently, their literature did as well. This period, known as the Reconstruction, was a time of post-war uncertainty, characterized by aftermath of the abolishing of slavery, where the “societal role of freed slaves was yet to be determined” (Gates and Smith 506). While the war may have officially ended with “Confederate president Jefferson Davis [fleeing] Richmond, Virginia” the turmoil that had been brewing in the South was far from over....   [tags: W. E. B. Du Bois, Black people, Ku Klux Klan]

Research Papers
788 words (2.3 pages)

Role of the Media in the Civil Rights Movement Essay

- African Americans have had a long struggle in achieving the freedoms deserved by all citizens of the United States. The monumental cases of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) had an undeniable impact on the civil rights of African Americans. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 also played important roles in the civil rights that we enjoy in our country today. As televisions were becoming a household item during this time the effects of media were notable and widespread, as well....   [tags: Black Civil Rights in America]

Research Papers
1034 words (3 pages)

Essay on A Brief Note On Crime And Punishment And The Civil War

- Crime and punishment have provided some of the most powerful symbols of the racial divide in America. Minorities have been tried in all white courtrooms, have longer and harsher sentences than white people, and have been lynched time and time again. According to the American Sociological Association, “Over much of the last century, police instigated or participated in race riots in cities nation-wide, and police behavior encouraged hostility toward and violence in minority communities” (Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System, p....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, African American]

Research Papers
1356 words (3.9 pages)

The Role of African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement Essay

- The African American Civil Rights Movement was a series of protests in the United States South from approximately 1955 through 1968. The overall goal of the Civil Rights Movement was to achieve racial equality before the law. Protest tactics were, overall, acts of civil disobedience. Rarely were they ever intended to be violent. From sit-ins to boycotts to marches, the activists involved in the Civil Rights Movement were vigilant and dedicated to the cause without being aggressive. While African-American men seemed to be the leaders in this epic movement, African-American women played a huge role behind the scenes and in the protests....   [tags: Black Civil Rights in America]

Research Papers
2574 words (7.4 pages)

Essay on Role of Jesse Jackson In the Black Civil Rights Movement

- Jesse Jackson is a famous Civil Rights leader, often considered to be one of the greatest. He believes that African Americans should get more political power. He fought for that power by being the second black American to run for President (the first was Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm in 1972 but wasn't a factor in the election). He was the first African-American to be a contender in a presidential election. Throughout the Civil Rights Movement he was always known as the man that TOOK action with what was given to him....   [tags: Black Civil Rights Movement]

Research Papers
929 words (2.7 pages)


Wells also had a major problem with the way black women were treated. She writes in her diary, of how she feels black women are not on the same level as black men. In her time black women were almost on the bottom of society in the way they were treated and Wells’ has a major problem with this, her being a strong minded, opinionated, an outspoken black women. This is shown in the incident where Wells was asked to go to the black section on the train by the conductor, and Wells refuses and proceeds to bite and kick the man. It is clear here that Wells has issues with the treatment of her kind. This is important because these issues that Wells has later fuel her presence in the civil rights movement. This un-acceptance of the way she is treated translates to her newspaper which she uses to speak out against the wrongs of America. This also happens in the modern world, for example Barack Obama uses America’s past of racism as the fuel to his campaign “We need change”. He uses a bad thing that is wrong with America to use a drive to strive and change it just as Wells does.
Another issue that Wells has is the stereotypes that are applied to blacks in her time. Whites think of most black women to be mami’s or jazzy’s in which Wells’ is a part of neither. Wells is not comfortable with this fact and is very quick to defend against it. Wells did not consider her self any of the stereotypes that were on blacks in the time, which is why she had such a problem with it. This is present in the fact that her and W.E.B. DuBois do not get along due to the fact that he is sexist against black women and she has a major problem with this. The two get into it a lot. This is also what Wells uses as her “fuel” in conjunction with her disliking of the unfairness towards black women in her later work in the Civil Rights movement. Without Wells having these issues it can be debated if Wells would have been such a supporter in the civil rights movement or not. In the modern world, this can be seen still present today since civil rights is still going on. For example, in the Jena 6 case one could argue that the black men were arrested and charges because of the stereotypes of black men being violent. This inspired black people all over the country and “fueled” the people to appoint the men a just and fair trial.
Identity, black women’s treatment, and stereotypes all play a major role in laying out the foundation in Ida B. Wells’ role in the Civil Rights movement. The experiences that Wells has in these three concepts help her as being motivation for the role she would later play in Civil Rights. Without these three influences, Wells would not be the presence that she once was.
Return to 123HelpMe.com