Ida B. Wells - a Red Record

1176 Words5 Pages
Ida B. Wells is well known for her influence during the civil rights and women’s rights movements. She was born in 1862 in Holly Springs Mississippi. Her parents died of yellow fever when she was only sixteen years old. She was to be split up from her other six siblings, but she dropped out of school and managed to get a job as a teacher and was able to keep her family together. She soon realized the discrimination in pay that there was as she was taking home thirty dollars compared to someone else’s eighty dollars a month. Then in 1884, she was confronted by a railroad conductor, asking her to move to the overly crowded smoking car. She refused and was drug off the train. She hired an attorney and tried to sue the railroad. Her…show more content…
The main excuse given for the mob lynchings of the Negroes was rape. Any blacks found to be involved intimately with a white woman were immediately accused of rape. Ida writes, “In numerous instances where colored men have been lynched on the charge of rape, it was positively known at the time of lynching, and indisputably proven after the victims’ death, that the relationship sustained between the man and the woman was voluntary and clandestine, and that in no court of law could even the charge of assault have been successfully maintained.” However, she also writes, “The Southern white man says it is impossible for a voluntary alliance to exist between a white woman and a colored man, and therefore, the act of an alliance is a proof of force.” Even though they know that the acts had been completely consensual, the white males continued this butchery of the blacks. Anything that could be thought up, even if it lacked truth or evidence, was used as excuses for these continued forms of slavery. Ida also writes about the young white women from the North that left their lives behind to go to the south and educate the newly emancipated blacks. These women were treated just as the blacks, no respect or
Get Access