Ida B Wells Facts

Ida B Wells Facts
Ida B Wells was an African-American journalist, suffragist, feminist, editor, sociologist, and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. She was born Ida Bell Wells on July 16th, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi, to James and Elizabeth Wells. She had seven siblings. When she was young her parents and one sibling died from the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She worked to help support her family, and then moved to Memphis for better teacher's pay. She became active in women's suffrage and women's rights. She traveled internationally to provide lectures.
Interesting Ida B Wells Facts:
Ida B Wells was born only months before President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Ida B Wells' parents were both enslaved by an architect named Spires Bolling. Her mother was a cook in the Bolling-Gatewood House.
Ida B Wells' mother was very strict and religious.
Ida B Wells attended Shaw University but dropped out when her parents and youngest sibling died from yellow fever. It was a school for newly freed slaves that her father once served on the board of directors for.
Ida B Wells' friend and his two business partners were murdered by a lynch mob after shooting white men who attacked their store. This fuelled her interest in her anti-lynching crusade.
In the 1890s Ida B Wells led an anti-lynching crusade.
In 1884 Ida B Wells bought a first class train ticket to Nashville. The crew ordered her to move to the African American car but she refused. In a struggle she bit one of the men. She sued but the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned her win in the circuit court.
Ida B Wells began to write about injustices with the moniker Lola. She was published in various newspapers and magazines.
Eventually Ida B Wells became one of the owners of Free Speech and Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.
When Ida B Wells became vocal about the poor conditions of blacks only Memphis schools she was fired from her job as a teacher.
At one time her writing in her newspaper angered so many of the city's white population that her office was destroyed. Her life was threatened if she were ever to return to Memphis.
Ida B Wells stayed in New York and wrote for New York Age which was a newspaper run by a former slave.
In 1895 Ida B Wells married and became Ida B Wells-Barnett. She had four children together with her husband and continued to remain active in political and social change.
Ida B Wells was responsible for starting the first African-American kindergarten in her community.
Ida B Wells began to write an autobiography in 1928 but she never had a chance to finish it as her health began to fail.
On March 25th, 1931, Ida B Wells died at the age of 68, in Chicago, Illinois, due to kidney failure.
Ida B Wells has had many honors in her name including a United States postage stamp in 1990.


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