Essay The Life and Achievemets of Ida B. Wells

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Ida B. Wells-Barnett dedicated her life to social justice and equality. She devoted her tremendous energies to building the foundations of African-American progress in business, politics, and law. Wells-Barnett was a key participant in the formation of the National Association of Colored Women as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She spoke eloquently in support of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The legacies of these organizations have been tremendous and her contribution to each was timely and indespensible. But no cause challenged the courage and integrity of Ida B. Wells-Barnett as much as her battle against mob violence and the terror of lynching at the end of …show more content…
The great majority of people lynched between 1882 and 1930 were black. During that period there were almost 4800 recorded lynchings in the United States. There were many more, no doubt, but we know about 4800. 3400 victims of this mob justice were black. The period from 1889 to 1893 accounted for the worst years. 579 blacks were lynched as opposed to 260 whites. That is a ration of 2.2 blacks lynched for every white. This is a significant difference already, but only part of the story. By the end of the century the racial nature of lynching had revealed itself, completely and unmistakably. Between 1899 and 1903, 543 people were lynched in the United States -- men and women. Of that number only 27 were white. That is a ratio of 22 blacks lynched for every white.

The numbers make a compelling case, but they do not tell the entire story because by themselves they reveal nothing of what lynching really involved. It was widely believed that lynching was spontaneous thing -- sudden and emotional acts of revenge committed by irrational mobs. But we know now that lynchings were often planned out in advance, and frequently with the sympathy and cooperation of local leaders and law enforcement officials. In some cases lynchings were even advertised. Days before they occurred men would move through neighborhoods and from town to town, distributing flyers by hand and sometimes printing announcements in newspapers. Transportation might be