Ida B. Wells
The Currelley Literary Journal is an online literary journal/ publication founded by African American Geechee poet, writer, storyteller, activist, multidisciplinary artist, and mental health counselor Lorraine Currelley, a proud descendant of America’s enslaved Africans.
We write about the African American experience through a historical, herstorical educational, cultural, social, political, context, nuance and lens. Our purpose, is the healing and restoration of the African self individually and collectively psychologically, physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially.
Our inspiration is Ida B. Wells. Ida B. Wells was an African American woman journalist and activist. Ida B. Wells was born a daughter of enslaved Africans in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on July 16, 1862. She was a courageous woman who fought a system of oppression and was a leader in the anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. Though her life was threatened daily and her newspaper office burned to the ground several times. Undeterred she continued her anti-lynching crusade. It is said, she took to carrying a gun for protection. She went on to found and become integral in groups striving for African-American justice. Ida B. Wells died in 1931 in Chicago, Illinois.
A famous quote of Ida B. Wells is, “One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”
(Source and More Information Including a Video in the link below)
Ida Bell Wells along with Mary Church Terrell were two anti-lynching activists. Both Ida Bell Wells and Mary Church Terrell made anti-lynching advocacy and activism their lives work.
In 1892 in Memphis Tennesee there had been 255 lynchings(murders) of innocent Blacks. However, the deaths of Thomas Moss. Calvin McDowell and Henry Stewart forever changed the struggle against anti-lynching.
It was the lynching of these three Black men on March 9, 1892 the climax of ugly events in Memphis. Their deaths were the result of anger, envy and resentment by a white store owner. He worked a white mob into a state of frenzy and attacked the three proprietors of the People’s Store as it was called. This mob of hooligans fired shots into the People’s Store. The Black proprietors and customers inside responded with gun fire. Three male whites were shot. The People’s Store proprietors were charged with conspiracy along with more than one hundred other Blacks. They were lynched. Mary Church Terrell and Ida Bell Wells became advocates and activist for anti-lynching laws. Ida Bell Wells and Mary Church Terrell were personal friends of the Moss family and were devastated by the news of the lynching of Thomas Moss.
Ida Bell Wells learning of the deaths of these three one wrote in the newspaper FREE SPEECH “The city of Memphis has demonstrated that neither character nor standing avails the Negro if he dares to protect himself against the white man or become his rival.” She was a columnist and co-owner of the paper. Mary Church Terrell and Ida Bell Wells were threatened and the paper office attacked. Ida Bell Wells took to carrying a pistol for protection. She often nearly escaped with her life.
Ida Bell Wells “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every home. “When the white man … knows he runs a great risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life.”
For further reading read WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER THE IMPACT OF BLACK WOMEN ON RACE AND SEX IN AMERICA BY PAULA GIDDINGS AND WE ARE YOUR SISTERS BLACK WOMEN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY EDITED BY DOROTHY STERLING
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