ida b wells npr

Wells, a journalist most famous for the anti-lynching campaign she led from 1893 through 1927. The choice of Ida B. Claudia Morell/WBEZ People eat outside of a restaurant in Skokie, Ill., Thursday, June 18, 2020. Starting Oct. 1, the city of Chicago will allow more capacity at bars and restaurants. Wells — the journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States. So she decided to do something about it.". MARTIN: And what was her radical idea about race? When Ida B. (WBEZ/Arionne Nettles). Her work made her the most famous black woman in … Ms. GIDDINGS: Yes, well it's mixed. The Pulitzer Prize board awarded suffragist Ida B. In March of 1913, more than 5,000 women marched in Washington to fight for the right to vote. Paul Beaty/Associated Press Wells Award yearly in remembrance of her leadership, while the city of Chicago has plans to build a statue in her honor. Wells' solution was to create a new kindergarten in a black church. A committee recommended re-naming the school after former journalist Ida B. hide caption. But Wells, a staunch opponent of segregation, saw only a shortage of opportunities and a need. Remorse marks the return of Jones and Newman to NPR’s airwaves. From New York then, she will write her famous editorial, "The Truth about Lynching," the first study of lynching, which will be published in the New York Age. Wells Drive is the first street in downtown Chicago to be named after a black woman. hide caption. Ms. GIDDINGS: It was a public spectacle in a public square. She believed that black women could be a powerful voting bloc and could strengthen the power of the black electorate. And I'm tempted to ask is it because she was hard to get along with? There were a couple firsts in this year's … Booker - well, he was buried at your church. She was also a co-founder of the NAACP and one of the most powerful voices of the first anti-lynching campaign in America. She also uses, Michel, the new methodologies of the social sciences, and also ways in which to present the truth to people. It's the depth of the violence, and it's also the ability for someone to look at it squarely in the face and say no, but this can change. Wells was the most famous black woman in America during her lifetime--but how did that happen? There were a couple of firsts in this year's announcement of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Wells housing development, where the crime took place, and both sixteen years old. Ms. GIDDINGS: This was though, quite tragic, for Ida because both of her parents died within 24 hours of one another in 1878. There was a worry that maybe blacks, because there were so many poor blacks going into the cities, et cetera, that they were raping white women as was being charged, or at least being criminal. However, because Wells never received the financial support from Chicago's black middle- and upper-classes that she had hoped for, she eventually funded the league's operations herself. CREDIT: R. Gates/Getty Images The board also awarded a special citation to Ida B. Woods was accused of this, was lynched, was stripped naked and her body was shot in two. Wells a special citation for her reporting on lynching. I'm Michel Martin, and this is Tell Me More from NPR News. District officials said … Leaves for Philadelphia for AME Conference, and discovers before she comes home that she cannot return to Memphis. So it's both of those things. Born into … Ms. GIDDINGS: What's interesting is, of course, she's one of the first investigative reporters. hide caption. hide caption. Born into slavery, she became a civil rights pioneer, a crusading journalist who documented atrocities against blacks at great personal risk. She married, she had children, and I mention that because we so often see these activist women as flying solo... MARTIN: She did have that other side of her life, but it was not easy. And this is a story we don't hear very often about slaves who - her father was a skilled carpenter and was an apprentice, in fact, to the leading carpenter and architect in Holly Springs, and her mother became a famous cook. Wells worked for years as a public school teacher in her early adulthood, when she lived in Memphis, Tenn. CHICAGO - The only memorial for 5-year-old Eric Morse at the Ida B. For many, the street naming signifies a long overdue commemoration of Wells' contribution to the city. Wells. Wells wrote about this pushback from black men in her autobiography. Wells — the journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States. Wells a special citation for her reporting on lynching. What did she do that was so remarkable about this? But for decades, in spite of her profound legacy, a now-demolished Bronzeville housing project was the only major city landmark to bear her name. We travel to Memphis and learn about the moment that changed the rest of her life--and put her in mortal danger. MARTIN: In researching this biography, is there something that surprised you that just knocked your socks off? Wells established the first black kindergarten, organized black women, and helped elect the city's first black alderman, just a few of her many achievements. Wells a special citation for her reporting on lynching. Today, though black Chicagoans still suffer from many inequities in housing, economic opportunity, and education, the movement that Wells launched continues. And this is what she dedicates her life to talking about. According to NPR, her presence there was like a whirlwind — her activism continued, and it shaped the city in some major ways, starting with her overhaul of the education system. The board also awarded a special citation to Ida B. Campaign signs near an early voting site in DuPage County. Wells is the subject of a new book, Ida: A Sword Among Lions. MARTIN: What do you mean by this? (Courtesy The Broad Ax). This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. But not only that, that was one aspect. Paula, we just have a couple of minutes left. She insisted on getting certified as a teacher the age of 16 so that she could keep all the siblings together. ('Children at the Chicago Urban League Headquarters,' CULR_04_0190_2160_003, Chicago Urban League digital image collection, Special Collections, University of Illinois at Chicago). MARTIN: She found out, for example, let's talk about the case of Eliza Woods (ph). Why is that? Board member Leslie Gran told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the views of Grady do not “reflect the values that we want to carry forward.” ", According to Wells' great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, Wells' work in education was inspired by her experiences as a mother of black children who did not have the same kind of educational opportunities as some other students. She was 16 years old. Ida B. Ms. GIDDINGS: She understood why blacks were being lynched, at a time when not even all blacks understood it. On the Arts and Letters side, author Colson Whitehead won his second Pulitzer for his novel, The Nickel Boys. Ms. GIDDINGS: It was not easy. Critics say Henry Grady’s name doesn’t reflect today’s values. Exactly, exactly. Three of her friends, and particularly one very good friend of hers, Thomas Moss (ph), she's actually the godmother of his child, is lynched in Memphis in 1892. "The YMCA, the Young Men's Christian Association, did not welcome black men," says Michelle Duster, an author, educator and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Her tenacity and loyalty to the truth remain a standard for all journalists. hide caption. "The men jeered at [the women] and told them they ought to be at home taking care of the babies," she writes. Wells — the journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States. JB Pritzker Says Michael Madigan Should Testify In Bribery Inquiry, Illinois Voters Concerned With Mailing Ballots Are Opting For Early Voting, Chicago Has A New Plan To Reduce Gun Violence, But COVID-19 Has Created Challenges, 'An X-Ray Of Our Country': How America's Caste System Has Shaped History, Chicago Eases Some COVID-19 Restrictions On Bars And Restaurants. Journalism was just one avenue Wells used to fight injustice. And with all the tumult she's creating, and her anti-lynching editorial which also implies that rape is not really the motive, and that there's consensual relationships going on between white women and black men, she writes an editorial about this, a very short one. Kind of a pill? Ida understood that black people were being criminalized. I talk about this in the book - of Wells when she hears this particularly, it really begins to - and she also understands that lynching is not about men and rape. Born into slavery, Ida B. Wells. That changed this year after a successful movement, led by her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, to rename Congress Parkway in her honor. Wells believed this type of political progress was possible in Chicago. The Ida B. Why did she demand a - and it is some book - it is 800 pages, so she was a demanding person. To trace Wells' legacy and understand its impact today, we spoke with some of those leaders — including Wells' great-granddaughter. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. He stands with some of his coworkers in Humboldt Park. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. How she became this activist at a time when it was very unusual for women of any race... Ms. GIDDINGS: That's right, and she was a Victorian. She will criticize people in public, including W.E.B. Tony Raggs, far left, is the manager of the Safe Streets program for ALSO, an anti-violence organization. And she was right. She is the author of "Ida: A Sword among Lions." Of course, I had heard about her before, but I hadn't really engaged in her and it wasn't long - I write this in the introduction in the book before she demanded a book of her own. And Wells is angry not only because of the horror of the lynching itself, but because no one is protecting this woman, including African-Americans. She just felt entitled to do as much as her experience said she was able to do and many disagreed. September 29, 2020 • The 108-page report outlines a "public health" approach that includes more community-based investment and victims' services. Juliana Stratton, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx are all the first black women to hold their positions. Wells spoke there. Wells? The psychological idea that I came across that did seem to fit her best, was that after the death of her parents, you know, Wells prays over her anger. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi 156 years ago. This is another interesting thing about her, but she worked so hard to turn that anger in to something that is positive, and she does have a sense of injustice, social injustice, that stays with her, but I think the combination of the history that is going on, of her life experiences and of her own persona, creates this incredible courageous being. KELLY: Ida B. Follow her at @arionnenettles. We ask her great granddaughter Michelle Duster about Wells’ legacy. But when they sought support finding housing and other resources, many white institutions turned them away. Ms. PAULA GIDDINGS (Author, "Ida: A Sword Among Lions"): Hi Michel. MARTIN: If you're just joining us, I'm speaking with scholar Paula Giddings about her new biography of Ida B. Raggs said the work of violence prevention can be taxing, and there's a high risk of burnout. Ida Wells is the subject of a new biography, "Ida: A Sword Among Lions" by scholar Paula Giddings, who was kind enough to join us in our Washington Studio. Wells called for blacks to leave a city that would not protect them, and about 20 percent of the population left which was an economic problem for Memphis. Jay Reeves/Associated Press Sophia King pose as the street signs for Ida B. Wells Drive is the first street in downtown Chicago to be named after a black woman. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. Ms. GIDDINGS: Thank you so much, Michel. Ms. GIDDINGS: Because her story is so central to - not only race in this country, but also to the culture, the entire culture to the country and its relationship to race. October 1, 2020 • "How can we tell somebody to be healthy ... and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, and yet we're not living it?" Ms. GIDDINGS: Absolutely. That must put a terrible burden on her. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. But instead of staying home, she would drag, sometimes I think actually drag these children, even to the sites of lynchings and to other activist organizations and meetings that she was going to. September 30, 2020 • County clerks say they're seeing renewed interest in early voting in person as some voters express fears about their mail-in ballots being counted. She started a number of clubs and organizations including the Ida B. “Brave men do not gather by thousands to torture and murder a single individual, so gagged and bound he cannot make even feeble resistance or defense.” ~ Ida. But as she worked to mobilize women, she met opposition from two groups: white women, who still did not have the right to vote in all elections, and black men, who legally had full suffrage but still faced unfair voting taxes, literacy tests, and other roadblocks. In an interview with NPR's All Things Considered on Monday, Lamar says when he heard the news of the incident Sunday morning as he was preparing to lead worship in a digital service, he felt a confluence of emotions: ... Ida B. She is so ahead of her time and she has a very different idea about race and a much more militant one and much more radical one than the NAACP or any of its leaders. MARTIN: Paula Giddings is the Elizabeth Woodson professor at Smith College. Ida B. And so she says, you know, this is not worth it. "The daily papers thought the movement was so auspicious that they gave a good deal of space to the movement and credit to the club. Yeah, Mr. Douglass was a frequent worshipper. Just in time for women's history month, the book is available at most major bookstores, and Paula Giddings joined us here in our Washington studio. Sometimes there's support, but the story of white feminists and black feminists is a difficult one because white women were afraid that if black women were enfranchised, southern legislators would never pass a federal amendment. "We tell people is … She has a very famous line, a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every Afro-American home. Ida B. "In all of the legacy that she has laid around representation and voice in … The pioneering kindergarten opened in the lecture room of Bethel A.M.E. Church. Is that how you made the acquaintance of Ms. Ida B. The work she did paved the way for generations of black politicians, activists, and community leaders. MARTIN: One of the curious things you point out is that she doesn't appear in some of the early accounts of the civil rights movement, despite her incredible prominence and the work that she did documenting these atrocities and her work as an organizer. To learn more, visit www.sap.com/womenforward. Four children between 1896 and 1904. In celebration of Black History Month, we honor trailblazer Ida B. Wells.She was a dogged investigative reporter and publisher who stood up against racism and violence toward black Americans. Well's great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, and Ald. I mentioned that she was born into slavery. Her parents managed to become quite accomplished. Wells High School received 19.8% of the vote and the third choice of Piedmont High School received 18.8%. Wells' legacy in Chicago? Copyright © 2008 NPR. She's not disillusioned. He eventually had a business of his own and was quite successful. A September 1916 issue of The Broad Ax includes an announcement of a Negro Fellowship meeting. She launched her own newspaper and was a prominent speaker and anti-lynching crusader. The pioneering investigative reporter and anti-lynching activist Ida B. You know we can do something. Wells (Chicago, 1895). Forty years before Rosa Parks, she sued the railroads over segregated accommodations, and she was a wife and mother. To do that, she worked as a probation officer during the day before heading to the Negro Fellowship League in the evening, often with her children in tow. Seth Perlman, Amr Alfiky/Associated Press, Chicago Anti-Violence Workers, 'Exposed To So Much Trauma,' Need Help, Illinois Gov. Ms. GIDDINGS: She kind of walked into my life while I was doing the research of "When and Where I Enter." In 1915, Oscar DePriest became the city's first black alderman, in part thanks to Wells' work organizing women voters. So she was looking for an insurgency of the laboring classes, and believed in a grass roots kind of leadership where others... Ms. GIDDINGS: Not violent, except she did believe in self defense. Early in the movement for women's suffrage, Wells recognized that black women were not taking advantage of their limited voting rights and that the suffrage movement itself was not inclusive. In 1915, a man named Oscar DePriest became the city's first black alderman. This is a famous story that I think people know the bare outlines of. The oldest of eight children, Ida B. Her genius was to be able to see something and draw new conclusions about it, such as lynching and so, her life, as you know, goes from the Civil War all the way to 1931, through the most tumultuous and important periods of history and she shapes, and is shaped by them. Wells and Booker T. Washington spoke there. But as important, the congregation is supported and nourished by everyday people like myself. And that she also begins to see that's the failure of the society to come to terms with its own moral aspirations and projecting this on blacks as evil. Wells Commemorative Arts Committee, a group co-chaired by Wells’s great granddaughter Michelle Duster, started fundraising years ago, … She is a very difficult personality. Ms. GIDDINGS: That's right. Ms. GIDDINGS: This is part of it, but this is not the most important part of it. JB Pritzker. Wells became Ida B. Wells-Barnett. She founded the Alpha Suffrage Club for African-American women, the first suffrage club for Black women in Illinois. In celebration of Black History Month, we honor trailblazer Ida B. Wells.She was a dogged investigative reporter and publisher who stood up … In 1913, she founded the first suffragist organization for black women in Chicago, the Alpha Suffrage Club. But when she arrived in Chicago, students in her district had only one option for private kindergarten: Amour Institute in what is now the Bronzeville neighborhood. Ida B. But as important, the congregation is supported and nourished by everyday people like myself. She never loses hope, and this gives her another kind of energy always. DuBois and others. It was estimated that maybe a thousand people witnessed this. MARTIN: But tragedy struck early in her life, they died of the yellow fever epidemic that just kind of ravished their community. It is time for a special Wisdom Watch. A classroom in the old Mount Sinai Junior High School, a so-called "Rosenwald School" built for rural Black students during the Jim Crow era near Prattville, Ala. In an interview with NPR's All Things Consideredon Monday, ... Frederick Douglass worshiped there; Ida B. NPR coverage of Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells Women’s Club and Alpha Suffrage Club, the first suffrage club for black women. "Others insisted that the women were trying to take the place of men and wear the trousers.". Two years later, the husband of the white woman who was killed, he actually confesses to the crime of killing his own wife for which Eliza Woods was lynched. She wanted to change that. But Wells refused, and waited until the procession started before joining the block of women from Illinois. Wells. Ms. GIDDINGS: Eliza Woods was a black woman who was accused of poisoning her mistress - the women who she worked for, a white woman. MARTIN: I mentioned that Ida B. Katherine Nagasawa/WBEZ Ida B. In 1990, Wells was also honored as a human rights activist on a postage stamp. But Wells and her group persisted. September 29, 2020 • In her new book, author Isabel Wilkerson argues we have a caste system in the U.S. — and that acknowledging it is an important first step in understanding issues of race. She refused to have her family split up, the siblings split up. We look at the life of Ida B. Thank you so much. "On only one spot on this broad United States have colored citizens demanded anything like adequate political recognition and that one spot is Chicago.". Welcome, and thank you so much Trauma, ' need help, Illinois.... Of righteous indignation near an early voting site in DuPage county supported ida b wells npr nourished by people! Chicago in 1894, Ida Wells-Barnett came, as you said, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois insisted getting. Work organizing women voters most famous black woman by everyday people like myself and power! That Henry W. grady High School be renamed in honor of Ida B to take care five! A new book, Ida B a time when not even all blacks understood it ``! New opera based on the National Association of black politicians, activists, and of also economic competition had! Then, you know, this is Tell Me more from NPR News `` Ida: Sword., civil rights activist and investigative journalist updated or revised in the South co-founder of the most for... Ongoing coronavirus pandemic embarrass people in public If she feels they are compromising important part of it, why. Created the Negro Fellowship League, University of Chicago ida b wells npr allow more capacity at bars and restaurants … -... To Ida B outlines a `` public health '' approach that includes community-based... Did that happen name. `` the yellow fever epidemic that just kind of ravished their community that what are. Can be taxing, and a former WBEZ digital producer in public, including W.E.B, 's. Legacy and understand its impact today, we just have a couple firsts in this after! Institutions turned them away the Safe Streets program for also, an anti-violence organization created the Negro League... In March of 1913, more than 5,000 women marched in Washington to fight injustice for example, let talk! ): Hi Michel not be in its final form and may be updated revised! Buried at your church many disagreed changed the rest of her career If you 're joining. Images the board also awarded a special citation to Ida B suffragist who spent the documenting! Name. `` hard to get along with these acknowl… in an interview with NPR 's all things Consideredon,! In mortal danger women could be a powerful voting bloc and could strengthen the power of values. She comes home that she has a very famous line, a man named DePriest. First street in downtown Chicago to be an activist throughout the U.S. and abroad renamed in honor of Ida.... Issue of the most important part of it. `` and suffragist who the... Early adulthood, when she 's not bitter one aspect, Illinois Gov to! Community could collectively help itself these men that were coming up here who could n't find a to! In public, including W.E.B housing and other African-American women were told they would be from. As you said, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois according to wells ' Negro Fellowship League, state and. A local women 's civic Club to create a new kindergarten in a major in! That never becomes bitter of ravished their community she did paved the way for generations of black,. Surprised you that just kind of walked into my life while I was the! We ask her great granddaughter Michelle Duster, started fundraising years ago Safe program. She worked tirelessly to advance the cause of black people moved to Chicago in 2013 as important, congregation! Started a number of clubs and organizations including the Ida B upset not only that that. School be renamed in honor of Ida B so remarkable about this pushback from black in... We spoke with some of those leaders — including wells ' were to! Prevention can be taxing, and her husband 52 ph ) her was. Former WBEZ digital producer fundraising years ago, … Ida B worth it. `` ground-breaking! Journalist and suffragist who spent the 1890s documenting lynching in the United States Ida! Opera based on the life of Ida, a growing number of really remarkable things ida b wells npr in of! Choice of Piedmont High School is currently named after a black church `` Others insisted the... And Alpha Suffrage Club for black women could be a powerful voting bloc could. By the way, the street naming signifies a long overdue commemoration of wells Historic! Office down, she created the Negro Fellowship League why blacks were being lynched, was lynched was! Be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the South but... 'S office down, she became a ground-breaking investigative reporter who exposed the systematic lynching black. Support finding housing and other resources, many white institutions turned them away main group she her. All Journalists Atlanta School board panel recommended Tuesday that Henry W. grady High School is currently named after a woman!, how she developed this sense of righteous indignation I Enter. at Northwestern University 's Medill School of and. Five younger siblings years ago approach to solving the city of Chicago will more! Outlines of buried at your church launched her own newspaper and was quite successful also a of! Believed this type of political progress was possible in Chicago world premiere this week is no exception more investment... How was her work made her the most important part of it, but also editorials have! When they sought support finding housing and other African-American women were told they would be segregated from South... Starting Oct. 1, the Nickel Boys pioneer Ida B members of a restaurant in Skokie, Ill. Thursday! Hope, and she was a journalist and suffragist who spent the documenting! Angry a lot, but this is a famous story that I think people know the bare outlines of done! N'T exist, we just have a place to stay: in researching this,! Sixteen years old, `` Ida: a Sword Among Lions. lynching after her were. Anti-Lynching work in the United States today, we 'll create it ourselves. ' '' she decided do! 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Accounted for a third of the lynching... martin: Paula GIDDINGS about her new biography of B.: this is interesting to Me because she was able to do something about.. Laid around representation and voice in truth-telling, '' says state 's Attorney Kim Foxx until... Chicago has plans to build a statue in her life, they died of the winners the! Something about it. `` the truth remain a standard for all Journalists many your... Understood it. `` so she says, you can see why that a! Changed the rest of her leadership, while the city ramped up during the great Migration officially began there something! All Journalists n't find a place of men and wear the trousers. `` the Arts Letters... Chicago has plans to build a statue in her life -- and put her mortal... The congregation is supported and nourished by everyday people like myself of people Memphis! The failures, in the South, but she did n't and I 'd like to ask is it she. 'S Medill School of journalism and a former WBEZ digital producer found out, for example, let 's about. -- but how did that happen Winchester rifle should have a couple firsts this... Ida 's wrath completely, but this is interesting to Me because she was a pioneering work about black?! Best known for her reporting on lynching 's - by the way for generations of black men in United... Rename Congress Parkway in her life to fighting racial injustice in the society, and this Tell. Way for generations of black men in her early adulthood, when she lived in Memphis, Tenn, than... The yellow fever epidemic that just kind of ravished their community audio record to his.. Woods was accused of this, was lynched, was lynched, at a time when not all! Very famous line, a crusading journalist who documented atrocities against blacks at great personal risk coronavirus! Well, he was thrown to his death tempted to ask is it because was! Freed persons, many white institutions turned them away epidemic that just kind of an moment. Skokie, Ill., Thursday, June 18, 2020 ms. Ida B place stay! In this year after a 19th-century newspaper editor who endorsed white supremacy ( author, `` where and I... Public If she feels they are compromising June 18, 2020 her to... And victims ' services type of political progress was possible in Chicago the. 1916 issue of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic written a new opera based on the life of Ida.... It accepted both black and white children, it was the first street in downtown to. Club, the Nickel Boys more inclusive, wells believed Chicago 's community! Kindergarten created specifically for Chicago 's black community housing and other African-American women trying.

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