The Apartheid And Racial Segregation

Good Essays

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries lynching and racial segregation were terrible problems. Mob violence killed black men, women and children indiscriminately, often for crimes they had no part in or that were not even committed. Ida B. Wells-Barnett was born a slave, to James and Elizabeth Wells during the Civil War. She attended Rust College, which was partly founded by her father in Mississippi. After Wells’ parents died to yellow fever she attained a teaching position at a local school by lying about her age. After some time teaching she moved to Memphis with two of her sisters, where she acquired another teaching position and continued her schooling at Fisk University. While her professional life was moderately successful, her personal life was dismal, however, “it is the very qualities that problematize her personal relationships… that will impel her to undertake… a courageous crusade against lynching” (DeCosta-Willis). Being a freed black woman in the south, Wells had firsthand knowledge of the segregation and racial tension of the time. This knowledge and her experiences gave her insights about the South that were crucial in her successful crusade against lynching and segregation.
Wells’ experiences living and writing in Memphis paved the way for her later, and more influential time writing for New York Age. Wells became active in the fight against segregation when, while riding the train one day, she refused to leave a car meant only for white women,

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