Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation’s most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 and died in Chicago, Illinois 1931 at the age of sixty-nine.

It was in Memphis where she first began to fight (literally) for racial and gender justice. In 1884 she was asked by the conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man and ordered her into the smoking or “Jim Crow” car, which was already crowded with other passengers. Despite the 1875 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or color, in theaters, hotels, transports, and other public accommodations, several railroad companies defied this congressional mandate and racially segregated its passengers. It is important to realize that her defiant act was before Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court decision that established the fallacious doctrine of “separate but equal,” which constitutionalized racial segregation. Wells wrote in her autobiography:

I refused, saying that the forward car [closest to the locomotive] was a smoker, and as I was in the ladies’ car, I proposed to stay… [The conductor] tried to drag me out of the seat, but the moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand. I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn’t try it again by himself. He went forward and got the baggageman and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.

And when she was speaking on one of her issues and people were like, CAN YOU NOT MENTION THE OTHER THING, instead of being afraid she would lose her venue for speaking on ANY topic, she was like… FUCK YOU I DO WHAT I WANT. 

She was a badass on so many levels and I do not use that term lightly, like she pretended to be 18 at the age of 16 to care for her newly orphaned siblings, she would travel to the South, even though there was a bounty on her head, to investigate lynchings and the failures of the justice system where black people where concerned. She traveled overseas and put American suffragists on blast for their racism, founded the first antilynching society with the full support of many of the upper echelon of the society. She called out black male leaders who told her to sit down and shut up time and again, especially after they pushed her out of the NAACP. Ida B. Wells-Barnett will forever be a badass. The End.


Reblogged from - got your grandpappy on my dick

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    One of my favorite ladies of history.
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    I hate that I had never heard of this woman. Totally fascinated now, must read up on her!
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