Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an African American sociologist, civil rights leader and a women’s rights leader active in the Woman Suffrage Movement. Ida B. Wells-Barnett & Fannie Barrier Williams (Illinois residents) and many other African American women leaders were champions of questioning, challenging, and implementing programs to improve the well-being of the African American community and of other citizens and visitors in the United States who were marginalized as a result of their race, class, and gender.

Books by or about Wells-Barnett:

Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells

Southern Horrors and Other Writings; The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900

Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching


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…..

If this work can contribute in any way toward proving this, and at the same time arouse the conscience of the American people to a demand for justice to every citizen, and punishment by law for the lawless, I shall feel I have done my race a service. ….

Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob…..

No nation, savage or civilized, save only the United States of America, has confessed its inability to protect its women save by hanging, shooting, and burning alleged offenders. ….

Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so……

The appeal to the white man’s pocket has ever been more effectual than all the appeals ever made to his conscience…..

The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American. ….

The negro has suffered far more from the commission of this crime against the women of his race by white men than the white race has ever suffered through his crimes. …..

The South resented giving the Afro-American his freedom, the ballot box and the Civil Rights Law…..

The white man’s dollar is his god, and to stop this will be to stop outrages in many localities…..

The white man’s victory soon became complete by fraud, violence, intimidation and murder…..

What becomes a crime deserving capital punishment when the tables are turned is a matter of small moment when the negro woman is the accusing party. ….

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