“I am only a mouthpiece through which to tell the story of lynching and I have told it so often that I know it by heart. I do not have to embellish; it makes its own way.”
Ida B. Wells believed deeply that “the way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
Outraged after three of her friends were lynched in 1892, Ida began to research lynchings in the U.S. She published her findings. After which a mob threatened to kill her.
But Ida was not one to shy away from difficult times. She didn’t when the time came to become a caretaker to her six siblings after their parents passed away from yellow fever. She was just 16 years old then. But she raised her siblings and she found work as a teacher.
Nor when she was told that to move from the first class car on a train to the smoking car where black people sat. She refused because she had purchased a ticket for her seat. Ida sued the train company and won, though the ruling was overturned int the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
“Virtue knows no color line,” she once said. A principle that seemed to guide her life.
In 1909, Ida became a founding member of the NAACP.
“The Ida B. Wells story” sources: Portrait of Ida B. Wells taken circa 1893 – Wikimedia Commons.