Ida B. Wells

Journalist, Civil Rights Activist (1862–1931)



Ida B. Wells was a champion for anti- lynching. Despite threats to her own life, she continued to speak out and write about injustices in society. Currently, the Ida B. Wells award is given to individuals who help open opportunities to covering minorities in journalism.

Adhiti Chundur, Beats Editor

 Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in in Mississippi. Six months later, all slaves in the U.S. were liberated by the the Emancipation Proclamation. However, the Wells family still faced prejudice and discrimination in the south.

  When she was 20 years old, Wells moved to Tennessee to live with her aunt.

In 1884, Wells bought a first class ticket on a train to Nashville. However, the crew ordered her to move to the car reserved only for African- Americans. She refused, and she was forcibly removed from the train.

  Wells started to combat this racial prejudice by  publishing articles in newspapers and periodicals, and later owned the publication Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

   In 1892, three of Well’s friends were brutally lynched by a mob. Outraged, she started publishing articles highlighting the injustice, and started an anti- lynching campaign, eventually carrying it all the way to Washington D.C.

  Wells also established several civil rights organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).