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Ida B. Wells

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931), more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, feminist,[1] Georgist,[2] and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.[3]

Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She lost her parents and a sibling in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic at a young age. She went to work and kept the rest of the family intact with the help of her grandmother. She moved with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee where she found better pay for teachers.

In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States. She showed that lynching was often used in the South as a way to control or punish black people who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by black people, as was usually claimed by whites.[4] She was active in womens rights and the womens suffrage movement, establishing several notable womens organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician and traveled internationally on lecture tours.[5]

Early life and education [ edit ]

Ida Bell Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on July 16, 1862,[6] several months before United States President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in Confederate-held territory. Her parents James Wells and Elizabeth Lizzie (Warrenton) Wells, were both enslaved by Spires Bolling, an architect.[7] [8] She was one of eight children.[9] The family resided at Bollings house, now named the Bolling-Gatewood House, where Lizzie Wells was a cook.[8]

Idas father was a master at carpentry; after the Civil War and emancipation, he was known as a race man who worked for the advancement of black people.[10] He was very interested in politics and became a member of the Loyal League. He attended Shaw University in Holly Springs (now Rust College), but he dropped out to help his

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