Saturday, November 24, 2012

Strong is Sexy Woman of the Past: Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s and Suffragette.Most of you probably think the fight for integration in the U.S. started with Rosa Parks and her refusal to give up her seat. In truth, this battle was waged in 1884 on a train.

While on a train, a conductor asked her to give up her seat and move to a crowded smoking car. She refused. Ida was then dragged off the train. It's said that the surrounding white passengers laughed.

Upon her arrival in Memphis, she set out to sue the railway, becoming a figurehead in Memphis society. And she was only twenty-five at this time. She won in the local court, but when the Supreme court overthrew the ruling and forced her to pay the money back, she complied...yet not with her tail between her legs.

She was persistent, having long ago grew fed up with being paid 30 bucks a month while white women doing the same job made 80. She was a teacher who dropped out of school to keep her and her orphaned siblings together.

She went on to become an editor and wrote under a paper with a pen name, constantly empowering African Americans and voicing the injustices being done to her race on a daily basis. Her focus was on the public act of lynching. She raised money to investigate the more suspect and started anti-lynching campaigns. Ida even took her cause and her fight to Great Britain.

What I like about her: Even mobs, anger, and beatings did not stop this woman from speaking her mind. And  guess what else? She was one of the first American woman to keep her own last name along with her husband's. She was a woman who lived before a close-minded world was ready for her.

She was one of the first African American women to run for public office before her death a year later.

This is def an inspiring woman in history for African Americans and WOMEN both. She fought for African American rights, and at the same time, was an example of all a single determined woman could accomplish.

Want to know more: I found this site superbly helpful:

'Til next Saturday, ladies, remember you have just as might right as the next person, stand up for yourself, and don't take "NO" for an answer. Oh, and don't forget, STRONG IS SEXY.

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