Jeter Publishing presents a brand-new series that celebrates men and women who altered the course of history but may not be as well-known as their counterparts.
Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s.
On one fateful train ride from Memphis to Nashville, in May 1884, Wells reached a personal turning point. Having bought a first-class train ticket, she was outraged when the train crew ordered her to move to the car for African Americans. She refused and was forcibly removed from the train--but not before she bit one of the men on the hand. Wells sued the railroad, winning a $500 settlement. However, the decision was later overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
This injustice led Ida B. Wells to pick up a pen to write about issues of race and politics in the South. Using the moniker "Iola," a number of her articles were published in black newspapers and periodicals. Wells eventually became an owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight
, and, later, of the Free Speech
She even took on the subject of lynching, and in 1898, Wells brought her anti-lynching campaign to the White House, leading a protest in Washington, DC, and calling for President William McKinley to make reforms.
Ida B. Wells never backed down in the fight for justice.