Ida B. Wells
Today we have added African American journalist and activist, Ida B. Wells (1862-1932).
Ida Bell Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi on 16 July 1862. She was born into slavery during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Her parents became activists after the war and emphasised the importance of education.
In 1878, 16-year-old Ida took a job as a teacher so she could support her 5 siblings; both parents and a baby brother had died during a yellow fever epidemic.
Eventually, Ida Wells moved – with her siblings – to Memphis Tennessee where she continued teaching but also took up civil rights causes. For example, in 1884 she filed a lawsuit against a train company for unfair treatment.
Thereafter, Ida Wells (who married lawyer Ferdinand Barnett in 1895) began investigating and writing about the discriminatory treatment of African Americans.