The Lynching Of Lynching, By Ida B. Wells Barnett

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Ida B. Wells-Barnett: The Lynching of Lynching

During the latter 19th and early 20th centuries racism and racial segregation were considerable problems. Mob violence, including lynchings were responsible for the deaths of thousands of black men, women and children, often for crimes they had no part in or which were not even committed. Ida B. Wells-Barnett was born into slavery by 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 of 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 the New York Age. Wells became active in the fight against

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