Black History—Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In her lifetime, she battled sexism, racism, and violence. As a skilled writer, Wells-Barnett also used her skills as a journalist to shed light on the conditions of African Americans throughout the South.


Ida Bell Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi on July 16th, 1862. She was born into slavery during the Civil War. Once the war ended Wells-Barnett’s parents became politically active in Reconstruction Era politics. Her parents instilled into her the importance of education. Wells-Barnett enrolled at Rust College but was expelled when she started a dispute with the university president.

In 1878, Wells-Barnett went to visit her grandmother. While she was there Wells-Barnett was informed that a yellow fever epidemic had hit her hometown. The disease took both of Wells-Barnett’s parents and her infant brother. Left to raise her brothers and sister, she took a job as a teacher so that she could keep the family together. Eventually, Wells-Barnett moved her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee. There she continued to work as an educator…

(Click on link below to read the article in it’s entirely)

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/ida-b-wells-barnett

(Click on Crash Course video to see a summary of Ida B. Well’s life)

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