Ida B. Wells-Barnett

(1862 - 1931)

Born a slave in Mississippi in 1862 a few months before the Emancipation Proclamation, Ida B. Wells began writing for Memphis newspapers in her twenties. In 1892 three black businessmen—among thirty black men arrested in the wake of altercations in a mixed-race neighborhood—were dragged from a Memphis jail and shot. Spurred by the event, Wells began a lifelong anti-lynching campaign, causing her to receive many death threats and driving her to move from Memphis to Chicago in 1893.

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