IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Essay

IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Essay

Length: 1535 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. Ida possessed an interest in school, and she quickly worked her way through every book in the Rust College library. At an early age she demonstrated leadership and a strong liking to journalism. Growing up in Memphis opened opportunities for Ida to further her education at LeMoyne Institution and Fisk University. Her impact among the Negro community was first felt in May 1884. On her way to work, Ida boarded her usual seat on the first-class ladies coach, she was asked by the conductor to move to the forward car, which was a smoker. Wells refused, got off the train, returned to Memphis, and filed suit against the Chesapeake, Ohio, and SouthWestern Railroad Company for refusing to provide her the first-class accommodations for which she paid. In December, 1884 the Memphis Circuit Court ruled in her favor and awarded her $500 in damages. The reaction within the white community was expressed in the Memphis Appeal, “Darky Damsel Gets Damages” (Klots, 32) Although her success was short lived when the company appealed the case to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which reversed the decision.

Wells-Barnett’s willingness to use the courts to challenge Jim Crow laws was well ahead of her time. Using her forceful pen to write of her experience and outcome soon led her to writing regularly for the black press throughout the country. Ida gained a reputation for fearlessness because of her militant opinions she openly expressed in print. Through her writings she was able to influence the black community, nonetheless educate them and sympathizers of injustices against them. The impact of Ida B. Wells-Barnett was felt within the Negro community through her anti-lynching crusade, journalistic writings, and prominent organizations.

With the sharpness of her pen...


... middle of paper ...


...tion. Wells-Barnett was a woman with a strong sense of justice. She was the pioneer of the anti-lynching crusade raising her voice in protest, and writing with a fiery pen.

She was direct and possessed strength during a time when this was unheard of by a woman especially a black woman. A reformer of her time, she believed Negroes had to
organize themselves and fight for their independence against white oppression. She roused the white South to bitter defense and began the awakening of the conscience of a nation. Through her campaign, writings, and agitation she raised crucial questions about the future of black Americans. Today we as black Americans do not rally against oppression like those that came before us. Gone are the days when we organized together, today we live in a society that does not want to get involved as a whole. What we fail to realize is that there is strength in numbers and that we must not lose sight of the struggles that went on before us that granted our civil rights. Sure, gone are the days of Jim Crow and even though there is not a movement that will define this generation it is important to realize that the fight for equality is never over.

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]

Strong Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT Essay

- 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]

Strong 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]

Strong 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]

Strong 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 (www.biography.com). He also helped to start Shaw University....   [tags: African American, Southern United States]

Strong 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 (pbs.org, 2002). Ida Barnett Wells’ parents were extremely involved in the Republican Party throughout the Reconstruction....   [tags: American Civil War, African American]

Strong 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]

Strong 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]

Strong 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]

Strong Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)