Essay on The Life and Achievemets of Ida B. Wells

Essay on The Life and Achievemets of Ida B. Wells

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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. But no cause challenged the courage and integrity of Ida B. Wells-Barnett as much as her battle against mob violence and the terror of lynching at the end of the 19th century.

After the Civil War, blacks were provided with rights they probably never dreamed of having during slavery. They were made citizens of the United States and given equal protection under the laws. If you were male, and of a certain age, you were also given the ballot. Each of these things represented both a great victory for for the freed people, and the promise of a bright future.

We know, however, that during the 1870s and 1880s, these rights were slowly and systematically taken away from blacks through the use of Jim Crow laws. Blacks saw their rights begin stripped away through legal, illegal, and often violent means. The vast majority of blacks were losing ground, and being forced back into conditions that were just slightly better than slavery. Blacks were kept down by various methods -- economic, social, and political -- but most typically through violence.

By the end of the 19th century, lynching was clearly the most notorious and feared means of depriving Bl...


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... these women were left behind as survivors. They lost fathers, brothers, and sons. They had the awsome duty of keeping the black family and community alive in the aftermath of this brutal crime. Wells was clearly a champion for their courage.

Ida B. Wells continued the fight against mob violence and lynching to the end of her life. She showed us the way towards achieving real social justice by participating in the founding of the NAACP -- the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- in 1909. This alliance of whites and blacks represented a new stage in the crusade to stop racial violence and inequality. The great legal, moral, and political victories won by the NAACP and the civil rights movement stand as proof of one of Ida Wells' deepest convictions. Wells understood that justice could not be fully achieved without interracial cooperation.

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