Ida B. Wells
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Over the course of a lifetime dedicated to combating prejudice and violence, and the fight for African-American equality, especially that of women, Wells arguably became the most famous Black woman in America.
Ida B. Wells
Ida Bell Wells
July 16, 1862
|Died||March 25, 1931 (aged 68)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Burial place||Oak Woods Cemetery|
|Occupation||Civil rights and women's rights activist, journalist and newspaper editor, teacher|
|Children||6, including Alfreda Duster|
Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Wells was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War. At the age of 16, she lost both her parents and her infant brother in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She went to work and kept the rest of the family together with the help of her grandmother. Later, moving with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, she found better pay as a teacher. Soon, Wells co-owned and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. Her reporting covered incidents of racial segregation and inequality.
In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States in articles and through her pamphlet called Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases, investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for Black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition—and a subsequent threat of loss of power—for whites. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in Black-owned newspapers. Subjected to continued threats, Wells left Memphis for Chicago. She married Ferdinand L. Barnett in 1895 and had a family while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights and the women's movement for the rest of her life.
While her work contains extensive documentation of lynchings -- she was one of the first to do so -- her work is notable for its real-time reporting on the prevalent incendiary propaganda about Black rape that was used to justify the practice.
Wells was outspoken regarding her beliefs as a Black female activist and faced regular public disapproval, sometimes including from other leaders within the civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement. She was active in women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, establishing several notable women's organizations. A skilled and persuasive speaker, Wells traveled nationally and internationally on lecture tours.
In 2020, Wells was posthumously honored with a Pulitzer Prize special citation "[f]or her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching."
Ida Bell Wells was born on the Bolling Farm near Holly Springs, Mississippi, July 16, 1862. She was the eldest child of James Madison Wells (1840–1878) and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Warrenton). James Wells' father was a White man who impregnated an enslaved Black woman named Peggy. Before dying, James' father brought him, aged 18, to Holly Springs to become a carpenter's apprentice, where he developed a skill and worked as a "hired out slave living in town". Lizzie's experience as an enslaved person was quite different. One of 10 children born on a plantation in Virginia, Lizzie was sold away from her family and siblings and tried without success to locate her family following the Civil War. Before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Wells' parents were enslaved to Spires Boling, an architect, and the family lived in the structure now called Bolling–Gatewood House, which has become the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum.
After emancipation, Wells’ father, James Wells, became a trustee of Shaw College (now Rust College). He refused to vote for Democratic candidates (see Southern Democrats) during the period of Reconstruction, became a member of the Loyal League, and was known as a "race man" for his involvement in politics and his commitment to the Republican Party. He founded a successful carpentry business in Holly Springs in 1867, and his wife Lizzie became known as a "famous cook".
Ida B. Wells was one of the eight children, and she enrolled in the historically Black liberal arts college Rust College in Holly Springs (formerly Shaw College). In September 1878, tragedy struck the Wells family when both of Ida’s parents died during a yellow fever epidemic that also claimed a sibling. Wells had been visiting her grandmother's farm near Holly Springs at the time and was spared.
Following the funerals of her parents and brother, friends and relatives decided that the five remaining Wells children should be separated and sent to various foster homes. Wells resisted this proposition. To keep her younger siblings together as a family, she found work as a teacher in a Black elementary school in the country near Holly Springs. Her paternal grandmother, Peggy Wells (née Peggy Cheers; 1814–1887), along with other friends and relatives, stayed with her siblings and cared for them during the week while Wells was teaching.
About two years after Wells' grandmother Peggy had a stroke and her sister Eugenia died, Wells and her two youngest sisters moved to Memphis to live with an aunt, Fanny Butler (née Fanny Wells; 1837–1908), in 1883. Memphis is about 56 miles (90 km) from Holly Springs.
Early career and anti-segregation activismEdit
t is with no pleasure that I have dipped my hands in the corruption here exposed ... 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.
– Ida B. Wells (1892)
Soon after moving to Memphis, Wells was hired in Woodstock by the Shelby County school system. During her summer vacations she attended summer sessions at Fisk University, a historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee. She also attended Lemoyne-Owen College, a historically Black college in Memphis. She held strong political opinions and provoked many people with her views on women's rights. At the age of 24, she wrote: "I will not begin at this late day by doing what my soul abhors; sugaring men, weak deceitful creatures, with flattery to retain them as escorts or to gratify a revenge."
On May 4, 1884, a train conductor with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad ordered Wells to give up her seat in the first-class ladies car and move to the smoking car, which was already crowded with other passengers. The previous year, the United States Supreme Court had ruled against the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875 (which had banned racial discrimination in public accommodations). This verdict supported railroad companies that chose to racially segregate their passengers. When Wells refused to give up her seat, the conductor and two men dragged her out of the car. Wells gained publicity in Memphis when she wrote a newspaper article for The Living Way, a Black church weekly, about her treatment on the train. In Memphis, she hired an African-American attorney to sue the railroad. When her lawyer was paid off by the railroad, she hired a White attorney.
She won her case on December 24, 1884, when the local circuit court granted her a $500 award. The railroad company appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court's ruling in 1887. It concluded: "We think it is evident that the purpose of the defendant in error was to harass with a view to this suit, and that her persistence was not in good faith to obtain a comfortable seat for the short ride." Wells was ordered to pay court costs. Her reaction to the higher court's decision revealed her strong convictions on civil rights and religious faith, as she responded: "I felt so disappointed because I had hoped such great things from my suit for my people. ... O God, is there no ... justice in this land for us?"
While continuing to teach elementary school, Wells became increasingly active as a journalist and writer. She was offered an editorial position for the Evening Star in Washington, D.C., and she began writing weekly articles for The Living Way newspaper under the pen name "Iola". Articles she wrote under her pen name attacked racist Jim Crow policies. In 1889, she became editor and co-owner with J. L. Fleming of The Free Speech and Headlight, a Black-owned newspaper established by the Reverend Taylor Nightingale (1844–1922) and based at the Beale Street Baptist Church in Memphis.
In 1891, Wells was dismissed from her teaching post by the Memphis Board of Education due to her articles criticizing conditions in the Black schools of the region. She was devastated but undaunted, and concentrated her energy on writing articles for The Living Way and the Free Speech and Headlight.
Anti-lynching campaign and investigative journalismEdit
The lynching at The Curve in MemphisEdit
In 1889, Thomas Henry Moss, Sr. (1853–1892), an African American, opened People's Grocery, which he co-owned. The store was located in a South Memphis neighborhood nicknamed "The Curve". Wells was close to Moss and his family, having stood as godmother to his first child, Maurine E. Moss (1891–1971). Moss's store did well and competed with a White-owned grocery store across the street, Barrett's Grocery, owned by William Russell Barrett (1854–1920).
On March 2, 1892, a young Black male youth named Armour Harris was playing a game of marbles with a young White male youth named Cornelius Hurst in front of the People's Grocery. The two male youths got into an argument and a fight during the game. As the Black youth Harris began to win the fight, the father of Cornelius Hurst intervened and began to "thrash" Harris. The People's Grocery employees William Stewart and Calvin R. McDowell (1870–1892) saw the fight and rushed outside to defend the young Harris from the adult Hurst as people in the neighborhood gathered into what quickly became a "racially charged mob".
The White grocer Barrett returned the following day, March 3, 1892, to the People's Grocery with a Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy, looking for William Stewart. But Calvin McDowell, who greeted Barrett, indicated that Stewart was not present. Barrett was dissatisfied with the response and was frustrated that the People's Grocery was competing with his store. Angry about the previous day's mêlée, Barrett responded that "Blacks were thieves" and hit McDowell with a pistol. McDowell wrestled the gun away and fired at Barrett – missing narrowly. McDowell was later arrested but subsequently released.
On March 5, 1892, a group of six White men including a sheriff's deputy took electric streetcars to the People's Grocery. The group of White men were met by a barrage of bullets from the People's Grocery, and Shelby County Sheriff Deputy Charley Cole was wounded, as well as civilian Bob Harold. Hundreds of Whites were deputized almost immediately to put down what was perceived by the local Memphis newspapers Commercial and Appeal-Avalanche as an armed rebellion by Black men in Memphis.
Thomas Moss, a postman in addition to being the owner of the People's Grocery, was named as a conspirator along with McDowell and Stewart. The three men were arrested and jailed pending trial.
Around 2:30 a.m. on the morning of March 9, 1892, 75 men wearing black masks took Moss, McDowell, and Stewart from their jail cells at the Shelby County Jail to a Chesapeake and Ohio rail yard one mile north of the city and shot them dead. The Memphis Appeal-Avalanche reports:
Dear Miss Wells: Thank you for your faithful paper on the lynch abomination now generally practiced against colored people in the South. There has been no word equal to it in convincing power. I have spoken, but my word is feeble in comparison ... Brave woman! ...
Just before he was killed, Moss said to the mob: "Tell my people to go west, there is no justice here."
After the lynching of her friends, Wells wrote in Free Speech and Headlight urging Blacks to leave Memphis altogether:
"There is, therefore, only one thing left to do; save our money and leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when accused by White persons."
The event led Wells to begin investigating lynchings using investigative journalist techniques. She began to interview people associated with lynchings, including a lynching in Tunica, Mississippi, in 1892 where she concluded that the father of a young White woman had implored a lynch mob to kill a Black man with whom his daughter was having a sexual relationship, under a pretense "to save the reputation of his daughter".
Demise of the Free Speech newspaper under duress of threats (1892)Edit
Wells' anti-lynching commentaries in the Free Speech had been building, particularly with respect to lynchings and imprisonment of Black men suspected of raping White women. A story broke January 16, 1892, in the Cleveland Gazette, describing a wrongful conviction of a sexual affair between a married White woman, Julia Underwood (née Julie Caroline Wells), and a single Black man, William Offet (1854–1914) of Elyria, Ohio. Offet was convicted of rape and served four years of a 15-year sentence, despite his sworn denial of rape (the word of a Black man against that of a White woman). Her husband, Rev. Isaac T. Underwood – after she confessed to him two years later – diligently worked to get Offet out of the penitentiary. After hiring an influential Pittsburgh attorney, Thomas Harlan Baird Patterson (1844–1907), Rev. Underwood prevailed, Offet was released and subsequently pardoned by the Ohio Governor.
On May 21, 1892, Wells published an editorial in the Free Speech refuting what she called "that old threadbare lie that Negro men rape White women. If Southern men are not careful, a conclusion might be reached which will be very damaging to the moral reputation of their women."
he way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.
– Ida B. Wells, 1892
Four days later, on May 25, The Daily Commercial published a threat: "The fact that a Black scoundrel [Ida B. Wells] is allowed to live and utter such loathsome and repulsive calumnies is a volume of evidence as to the wonderful patience of Southern Whites. But we've had enough of it." The Evening Scimitar (Memphis) copied the story that same day, but, more specifically raised the threat: "Patience under such circumstances is not a virtue. If the Negroes themselves do not apply the remedy without delay it will be the duty of those whom he has attacked to tie the wretch who utters these calumnies to a stake at the intersection of Main and Madison Sts., brand him in the forehead with a hot iron and perform upon him a surgical operation with a pair of tailor's shears."
A White mob ransacked the Free Speech office, destroying the building and its contents. James L. Fleming, co-owner with Wells and business manager, was forced to flee Memphis; and, reportedly, the trains were being watched for Wells' return. Creditors took possession of the office and sold the assets of Free Speech. Wells had been out of town, vacationing in Manhattan; but never returned to Memphis. A "committee" of White businessmen, reportedly from the Cotton Exchange, located Rev. Nightingale and, although he'd sold his interest to Wells and Fleming in 1891, assaulted him and forced him at gunpoint to sign a letter retracting the May 21 editorial.
Wells subsequently accepted a job with New York Age and continued her anti-lynching campaign from New York. For the next three years, she resided in Harlem, initially as a guest at the home of Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856–1928) and wife, Carrie Fortune (née Caroline Charlotte Smiley; 1860–1940).
According to Kenneth W. Goings, PhD, no copy of the Memphis Free Speech survives. Our only knowledge of it comes from reprinted articles in other archived newspapers.
Southern Horrors (1892)Edit
On October 26, 1892, Wells began to publish her research on lynching in a pamphlet titled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. Having examined many accounts of lynchings due to the alleged "rape of White women", she concluded that Southerners cried rape as an excuse to hide their real reasons for lynchings: Black economic progress, which threatened White Southerners with competition, and White ideas of enforcing Black second-class status in the society. Black economic progress was a contemporary issue in the South, and in many states Whites worked to suppress Black progress. In this period at the turn of the century, Southern states, starting with Mississippi in 1890, passed laws and/or new constitutions to disenfranchise most Black people and many poor White people through use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other devices. Wells-Barnett recommended that Black people use arms to defend against lynching.
Wells, in Southern Horrors, adopted the phrase "poor, blind Afro-American Sampsons" to denote Black men as victims of "White Delilahs". The Biblical "Samson", in the vernacular of the day, came from Longfellow's 1865 poem, "The Warning", containing the line, "There is a poor, blind Samson in the land ... " To explain the metaphor "Sampson", John Elliott Cairnes, an Irish political economist, in his 1865 article about Black suffrage, wrote that Longfellow was prophesizing; to wit: in "the long-impending struggle for Americans following the Civil War, [he, Longfellow] could see in the Negro only an instrument of vengeance, and a cause of ruin". The phrase, instrument of vengeance was also referenced in the 1831 work, The Confessions of Nat Turner, published by Thomas Ruffin Gray, wherein Turner explains how he saw the divine signs – God's will to eradicate the evil of slavery – that (a) vindicated him as an instrument of vengeance and (b) established his prophetic status. However, Cairnes, in the article, went on to explain that Longfellow's prediction did not transpire: "The hour of grim revel at length came, and the American Sampson [sic] raised his hand, but for a purpose far different than that which the poet dreaded – not to shake, but to stay up the tottering temple of American liberties – that temple in which he had only received insult and unutterable wrong."
The Red Record (1895)Edit
After conducting greater research, Wells published The Red Record, in 1895, a 100-page pamphlet with more detail, describing lynching in the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. It also covered Black people’s struggles in the South since the Civil War. The Red Record explored the alarmingly high rates of lynching in the United States (which was at a peak from 1880 to 1930). Wells-Barnett said that during Reconstruction, most Americans outside the South did not realize the growing rate of violence against Black people in the South. She believed that during slavery, White people had not committed as many attacks because of the economic labour value of slaves. Wells noted that, since slavery time, "ten thousand Negroes have been killed in cold blood, [through lynching] without the formality of judicial trial and legal execution".
Frederick Douglass had written an article noting three eras of "Southern barbarism" and the excuses that Whites claimed in each period.
Wells-Barnett explored these in detail in her The Red Record.
- During slavery time, she noted that Whites worked to "repress and stamp out alleged 'race riots'" or suspected slave rebellions, usually killing Black people in far higher proportions than any White casualties. Once the Civil War ended, White people feared Black people, who were in the majority in many areas. White people acted to control them and suppress them by violence.
- During the Reconstruction Era White people lynched Black people as part of mob efforts to suppress Black political activity and re-establish White supremacy after the war. They feared "Negro Domination" through voting and taking office. Wells-Barnett urged Black people in high-risk areas to move away to protect their families.
- She noted that Whites frequently claimed that Black men had "to be killed to avenge their assaults upon women". She noted that White people assumed that any relationship between a White woman and a Black man was a result of rape. But, given power relationships, it was much more common for White men to take sexual advantage of poor Black women. She stated: "Nobody in this section of the country believes the old threadbare lie that Black men rape White women." Wells connected lynching to sexual violence, showing how the myth of the Black man's lust for White women led to the murder of African-American men.
Wells-Barnett gave 14 pages of statistics related to lynching cases committed from 1892 to 1895; she also included pages of graphic accounts detailing specific lynchings. She noted that her data was taken from articles by White correspondents, White press bureaus, and White newspapers. The Red Record had far-reaching influence in the debate about lynching.
Southern Horrors and The Red Record's documentation of lynchings captured the attention of Northerners who knew little about lynching or accepted the common explanation that Black men deserved this fate.
According to the Equal Justice Initiative, 4084 African Americans were lynched in the South, alone, between 1877 and 1950, of which, 25 percent were accused of sexual assault and nearly 30 percent, murder. Generally southern states and White juries refused to indict any perpetrators for lynching, although they were frequently known and sometimes shown in the photographs being made more frequently of such events.
Despite Wells-Barnett's attempt to garner support among White Americans against lynching, she believed that her campaign could not overturn the economic interests Whites had in using lynching as an instrument to maintain Southern order and discourage Black economic ventures. Ultimately, Wells-Barnett concluded that appealing to reason and compassion would not succeed in gaining criminalization of lynching by Southern Whites.
Wells-Barnett concluded that perhaps armed resistance was the only defense against lynching. Meanwhile, she extended her efforts to gain support of such powerful White nations as Britain to shame and sanction the racist practices of America.
Speaking tours in BritainEdit
Wells travelled twice to Britain in her campaign against lynching, the first time in 1893 and the second in 1894. She and her supporters in America saw these tours as an opportunity for her to reach larger, White audiences with her anti-lynching campaign, something she had been unable to accomplish in America. She found sympathetic audiences in Britain, already shocked by reports of lynching in America. Wells had been invited for her first British speaking tour by Catherine Impey and Isabella Fyvie Mayo. Impey, a Quaker abolitionist who published the journal Anti-Caste, had attended several of Wells' lectures while traveling in America.
Mayo was a well-known writer and poet who wrote under the name of Edward Garrett. Both women had read of the particularly gruesome lynching of Henry Smith in Texas and wanted to organize a speaking tour to call attention to American lynchings. They asked Frederick Douglass to make the trip, but he declined, citing his age and health. He then suggested Wells, who enthusiastically accepted the invitation. In 1894, before leaving the US for her second visit to Great Britain, Wells called on William Penn Nixon, the editor of the Daily Inter Ocean, a Republican newspaper in Chicago. It was the only major White paper that persistently denounced lynching. After she told Nixon about her planned tour, he asked her to write for the newspaper while in England. She was the first African-American woman to be a paid correspondent for a mainstream White newspaper.
Wells toured England, Scotland and Wales for two months, addressing audiences of thousands, and rallying a moral crusade among the British. She relied heavily on her pamphlet Southern Horrors in her first tour, and showed shocking photographs of actual lynchings in America. On May 17, 1894, she spoke in Birmingham at the Young Men's Christian Assembly and at Central Hall, staying in Edgbaston at 66 Gough Road.
On the last night of her second tour, the London Anti-Lynching Committee was established – reportedly the first anti-lynching organization in the world. Its founding members included many notables such as the Duke of Argyll, Sir John Gorst, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Henry Somerset and some twenty Members of Parliament, with activist Florence Balgarnie as the honorary secretary.
As a result of her two lecture tours in Britain, she received significant coverage in the British and American press. Many of the articles published at the time of her return to the United States were hostile personal critiques, rather than reports of her anti-lynching positions and beliefs. The New York Times, for example, called her "a slanderous and nasty-nasty-minded Mulatress". Despite these attacks in the White press, Wells had nevertheless gained extensive recognition and credibility, and an international audience of White supporters of her cause.
Marriage and familyEdit
On June 27, 1895, in Chicago at Bethel AME Church, Wells married attorney Ferdinand L. Barnett, a widower with two sons, Ferdinand Barnett and Albert Graham Barnett (1886–1962). Ferdinand Lee Barnett, who lived in Chicago, was a prominent attorney, civil rights activist, and journalist. Like Wells, he spoke widely against lynchings and for the civil rights of African Americans. Wells and Barnett had met in 1893, working together on a pamphlet protesting the lack of Black representation at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Barnett founded The Chicago Conservator, the first Black newspaper in Chicago, in 1878. Wells began writing for the paper in 1893, later acquired a partial ownership interest, and after marrying Barnett, assumed the role of editor.
Wells' marriage to Barnett was a legal union as well as a partnership of ideas and actions. Both were journalists, and both were established activists with a shared commitment to civil rights. In an interview, Wells' daughter Alfreda said that the two had "like interests" and that their journalist careers were "intertwined". This sort of close working relationship between a wife and husband was unusual at the time, as women often played more traditional domestic roles in a marriage.
In addition to Barnett's two children from Ferdinand's previous marriage, the couple had four more: Charles Aked Barnett (1896–1957), Herman Kohlsaat Barnett (1897–1975), Ida Bell Wells Barnett, Jr. (1901–1988), and Alfreda Marguerita Barnett (married surname Duster; 1904–1983). Charles Aked Barnett's middle name was the namesake of Charles Frederic Aked (1864–1941), an influential British-born-turned-American progressive Protestant clergyman who, in 1894, while pastor of the Pembrooke Baptist Church in Liverpool, England, befriended Wells, endorsed her anti-lynching campaign, and hosted her in during her second speaking tour in England in 1894.
In a chapter of Wells' posthumous autobiography, Crusade For Justice, titled "A Divided Duty", she described the difficult challenge of splitting her time between family and work. She continued to work after the birth of her first child, traveling and bringing the infant Charles with her. Although she tried to balance her roles as a mother and as a national activist, it was alleged that she was not always successful. Susan B. Anthony said she seemed "distracted".
Her establishment of Chicago's first kindergarten prioritizing Black children, located in the lecture room of the Bethel AME Church, demonstrates how her public activism and her personal life were connected; as her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster notes: "When her older children started getting of school age, then she recognized that black children did not have the same kind of educational opportunities as some other students .... And so, her attitude was, 'Well since it doesn't exist, we'll create it ourselves.'"
The 19th century's acknowledged leader for African-American civil rights, Frederick Douglass praised Wells' work, giving her introductions and sometimes financial support for her investigations. When he died in 1895, Wells was perhaps at the height of her notoriety, but many men and women were ambivalent or against a woman taking the lead in Black civil rights at a time when women were not seen as, and often not allowed to be, leaders by the wider society. For the new leading voices, Booker T. Washington, his rival, W. E. B. Du Bois, and more traditionally minded women activists, Wells often came to be seen as too radical.
Wells encountered and sometimes collaborated with the others, but they also had many disagreements, while also competing for attention for their ideas and programs. For example, there are differing in accounts for why Wells' name was excluded from the original list of founders of the NAACP. In his autobiography Dusk of Dawn, Du Bois implied that Wells chose not to be included. However, in her autobiography, Wells stated that Du Bois deliberately excluded her from the list.
Organizing in ChicagoEdit
Having settled in Chicago, Wells continued her anti-lynching work while becoming more focused on the civil rights of African Americans. She worked with national civil rights leaders to protest a major exhibition, she was active in the national women's club movement, and she ultimately ran for the Illinois State Senate. She also was passionate about women's rights and suffrage. She was a spokeswoman and an advocate for women being successful in the workplace, having equal opportunities, and creating a name for themselves.
Wells was an active member of the National Equal Rights League (NERL), founded in 1864, and was their representative calling on President Woodrow Wilson to end discrimination in government jobs. In 1914, she served as president of NERL's Chicago bureau.
World's Columbian ExpositionEdit
In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago. Together with Frederick Douglass and other Black leaders, Wells organized a Black boycott of the fair, for the fair's lack of representation of African American achievement in the exhibits. Wells, Douglass, Irvine Garland Penn, and Wells' future husband, Ferdinand L. Barnett, wrote sections of the pamphlet The Reason Why: The Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition, which detailed the progress of Blacks since their arrival in America and also exposed the basis of Southern lynchings. Wells later reported to Albion W. Tourgée that copies of the pamphlet had been distributed to more than 20,000 people at the fair. That year she started work with The Chicago Conservator, the oldest African-American newspaper in the city.
Living in Chicago in the late 19th century, Wells was very active in the national Woman's club movement. In 1893, she organized The Women's Era Club, a first-of-its-kind civic club for African-American women in Chicago. It would later be renamed the Ida B. Wells Club in her honor. In 1896, Wells took part in the meeting in Washington, D.C., that founded the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. After her death, the Ida B. Wells Club went on to do many things. The club advocated to have a housing project in Chicago named after the founder, Ida B. Wells, and succeeded, making history in 1939 as the first housing project named after a woman of color. Wells also helped organize the National Afro-American Council, serving as the organization's first secretary.
Wells received much support from other social activists and her fellow club women. Frederick Douglass praised her work: "You have done your people and mine a service. ...What a revelation of existing conditions your writing has been for me."
Despite Douglass' praise, Wells was becoming a controversial figure among local and national women's clubs. This was evident when in 1899 the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs intended to meet in Chicago. Writing to the president of the association, Mary Terrell, Chicago organizers of the event stated that they would not cooperate in the meeting if it included Wells. When Wells learned that Terrell had agreed to exclude Wells, she called it "a staggering blow".
In 1900, Wells was outraged when the Chicago Tribune published a series of articles suggesting adoption of a system of racial segregation in public schools. Given her experience as a school teacher in segregated systems in the South, she wrote to the publisher on the failures of segregated school systems and the successes of integrated public schools. She then went to his office and lobbied him. Unsatisfied, she enlisted the social reformer Jane Addams in her cause. Wells and the pressure group she put together with Addams are credited with stopping the adoption of an officially segregated school system.
Wells' role in the U.S. suffrage movement was inextricably linked to her lifelong crusade against racism, violence and discrimination towards African Americans. Her view of women's enfranchisement was pragmatic and political. Like all suffragists she believed in women's right to vote, but she also saw enfranchisement as a way for Black women to become politically involved in their communities and to use their votes to elect African Americans, regardless of gender, to influential political office.
As a prominent Black suffragist, Wells held strong positions against racism, violence and lynching that brought her into conflict with leaders of largely White suffrage organizations. Perhaps the most notable example of this conflict was her very public disagreement with Frances Willard, the first President of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).
The WCTU was a predominantly White women's organization, with branches in every state and a growing membership, including in the Southern United States, where segregation laws and lynching occurred. With roots in the call for temperance and sobriety, the organization later became a powerful advocate of suffrage in the U.S.
In 1893 Wells and Willard travelled separately to Britain on lecture tours. Willard was promoting temperance as well as suffrage for women, and Wells was calling attention to lynching in the U.S. The basis of their dispute was Wells' public statements that Willard was silent on the issue of lynching. Wells referred to an interview Willard had conducted during her tour of the American South, in which Willard had blamed African Americans' behavior for the defeat of temperance legislation. "The colored race multiplies like the locusts of Egypt", Willard had said, and "the grog shop is its center of power. The safety of women, of childhood, of the home is menaced in a thousand localities, so that men dare not go beyond the sight of their own roof tree."
Although Willard and her prominent supporter Lady Somerset were critical of Wells' comments, Wells was able to turn that into her favor, portraying their criticisms as attempts by powerful White leaders to "crush an insignificant colored woman".
Wells also dedicated a chapter in The Red Record to juxtapose the different positions that she and Willard held. The chapter titled "Miss Willard's Attitude" condemned Willard for using rhetoric that promoted violence and other crimes against African Americans in America.
Negro Fellowship LeagueEdit
Wells, her husband, and some members of their Bible study group, in 1908 founded the Negro Fellowship League (NFL), the first Black settlement house in Chicago. The organization, in rented space, served as a reading room, library, activity center, and shelter for young Black men in the local community at a time when the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) did not allow Black men to become members. The NFL also assisted with job leads and entrepreneurial opportunities for new arrivals in Chicago from Southern States, notably those of the Great Migration. During her involvement, the NFL advocated for women's suffrage and supported the Republican Party in Illinois.
Alpha Suffrage ClubEdit
In the years following her dispute with Willard, Wells continued her anti-lynching campaign and organizing in Chicago. She focused her work on Black women's suffrage in the city following the enactment of a new state law enabling partial women's suffrage. The Illinois Presidential and Municipal Suffrage Bill of 1913 (see Women's suffrage in Illinois) gave women in the state the right to vote for presidential electors, mayor, aldermen and most other local offices; but not for governor, state representatives or members of Congress.[a] Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to give women these voting rights.
The prospect of passing the act, even one of partial enfranchisement, was the impetus for Wells and her White colleague Belle Squire to organize the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago on January 30, 1913.[page needed] One of the most important Black suffrage organizations in Chicago, the Alpha Suffrage Club was founded as a way to further voting rights for all women, to teach Black women how to engage in civic matters, and to work to elect African Americans to city offices. Two years after its founding, the club played a significant role in electing Oscar De Priest as the first African-American alderman in Chicago.
As Wells and Squire were organizing the Alpha Club, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was organizing a suffrage parade in Washington D.C. Marching the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson as president in 1913, suffragists from across the country gathered to demand universal suffrage. Wells, together with a delegation of members from Chicago, attended. On the day of the march, the head of the Illinois delegation told the Wells delegates that the NAWSA wanted "to keep the delegation entirely White", and all African-American suffragists, including Wells, were to walk at the end of the parade in a "colored delegation".
Instead of going to the back with other African Americans, however, Wells waited with spectators as the parade was underway, and stepped into the White Illinois delegation as they passed by. She visibly linked arms with her White suffragist colleagues, Squire and Virginia Brooks, for the rest of the parade, demonstrating, according to The Chicago Defender, the universality of the women's civil rights movement.
From "race agitator" to political candidateEdit
During World War I, the U.S. government placed Wells under surveillance, labeling her a dangerous "race agitator". She defied this threat by continuing civil rights work during this period with such figures as Marcus Garvey, Monroe Trotter, and Madam C. J. Walker. In 1917, Wells wrote a series of investigative reports for the Chicago Defender on the East St. Louis Race Riots. After almost thirty years away, Wells made her first trip back to the South in 1921 to investigate and publish a report on the Elaine massacre in Arkansas (published 1922).
In the 1920s, she participated in the struggle for African-American workers' rights, urging Black women's organizations to support the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, as it tried to gain legitimacy. However, she lost the presidency of the National Association of Colored Women in 1924 to the more diplomatic Mary Bethune. To challenge what she viewed as problems for African Americans in Chicago, Wells started a political organization named Third Ward Women's Political Club in 1927. In 1928, she tried to become a delegate to the Republican National Convention but lost to Oscar De Priest. Her feelings toward the Republican Party became more mixed due to what she viewed as the Hoover administration's poor stance on civil rights and attempts to promote a "Lily-White" policy in Southern Republican organizations. In 1930, Wells unsuccessfully sought elective office, running as an Independent for a seat in the Illinois Senate, against the Republican Party candidate, Adelbert Roberts.
Influence on Black feminist activismEdit
Wells-Barnett explained that the defense of White women's honor allowed Southern White men to get away with murder by projecting their own history of sexual violence onto Black men. Her call for all races and genders to be accountable for their actions showed African-American women that they can speak out and fight for their rights. By portraying the horrors of lynching, she worked to show that racial and gender discrimination are linked, furthering the Black feminist cause.
Autobiography and deathEdit
Wells began writing her autobiography, Crusade for Justice (1928), but never finished the book; it would be posthumously published, edited by her daughter Alfreda Barnett Duster, in 1970, as Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells.
Legacy and honorsEdit
Since Wells' death, with the rise of mid-20th-century civil rights activism, and the 1971 posthumous publication of her autobiography, interest in her life and legacy has grown. Awards have been established in her name by the National Association of Black Journalists, the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, the Coordinating Council for Women in History, the Type Investigations (formerly the Investigative Fund), the University of Louisville, and the New York County Lawyers' Association (awarded annually since 2003), among many others. The Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation and the Ida B. Wells Museum have also been established to protect, preserve and promote Wells' legacy. In her hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi, there is an Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in her honor that acts as a cultural center of African-American history.
In 1941, the Public Works Administration (PWA) built a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago; it was named the Ida B. Wells Homes in her honor. The buildings were demolished in August 2011 due to changing demographics and ideas about such housing.
In 1988, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In August that year, she was also inducted into the Chicago Women's Hall of Fame. Molefi Kete Asante included Wells on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans in 2002. In 2011, Wells was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame for her writings.
On February 1, 1990, at the start of Black History Month in the U.S., the U.S. Postal Service dedicated a 25¢ stamp commemorating Wells in a ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The stamp, designed by Thomas Blackshear II, features a portrait of Wells illustrated from a composite of photographs of her taken during the mid-1890s. Wells is the 25th African-American entry – and fourth African American woman – on a U.S. postage stamp. She is the 13th in the Postal Service's Black Heritage series.
In 2006, the Harvard Kennedy School commissioned a portrait of Wells. In 2007, the Ida B. Wells Association was founded by University of Memphis philosophy graduate students to promote discussion of philosophical issues arising from the African-American experience and to provide a context in which to mentor undergraduates. The Philosophy Department at the University of Memphis has sponsored the Ida B. Wells conference every year since 2007.
On February 12, 2012, Mary E. Flowers, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, introduced House Resolution 770 during the 97th General Assembly, honoring Ida B. Wells by declaring March 25, 2012 – the eighty-ninth anniversary of her death – as Ida B. Wells Day in the State of Illinois.
In August 2014, Wells was the subject of an episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives, in which her work was championed by Baroness Oona King. Wells was honored with a Google Doodle on July 16, 2015, which would have been her 153rd birthday.
In 2016, the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting was launched in Memphis, Tennessee, with the purpose of promoting investigative journalism. Following in the footsteps of Wells, this society encourages minority journalists to expose injustices perpetuated by the government and defend people who are susceptible to being taken advantage of. This organization was created with much support from the Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
On March 8, 2018, The New York Times published a belated obituary for her, in a series marking International Women's Day and entitled "Overlooked" that set out to acknowledge that, since 1851, its obituary pages had been dominated by White men, while notable women – including Wells – had been ignored.
On February 12, 2019, a blue plaque, provided by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, was unveiled by the mayor of Birmingham, Yvonne Mosquito, at the Edgbaston Community Centre, Birmingham, England, commemorating Wells' stay in a house on the exact site of 66 Gough Road where she stayed in 1893 during her speaking tour of the British Isles.
On July 13, 2019, a marker for her was dedicated in Mississippi, on the northeast corner of Holly Springs' Courthouse Square.The marker was donated by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
The Extra Mile – Points of Light Volunteer Pathway, a memorial adjacent to the White House in Washington, D.C., selected Wells as one of its 37 honorees. The Extra Mile pays homage to Americans such as Wells who set aside their own self-interest in order to help others and who successfully brought positive social change to the United States.
In 2019, a new middle school in Washington, D.C., was named in her honor. On November 7, 2019, a Mississippi Writers Trail historical marker was installed at Rust College in Holly Springs commemorating the legacy of Ida B. Wells.
On May 4, 2020, she was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize special citation, "[f]or her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching." The Pulitzer Prize board announced that it would donate at least $50,000 in support of Wells' mission to recipients who would be announced at a later date.
In 2021 Chicago erected a monument to Wells in the Bronzeville neighborhood, near where she lived and close to the site of the former Ida B. Wells Homes housing project. Officially called The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, it was created by sculptor Richard Hunt.
Also in 2021, Memphis dedicated a new Ida B. Wells plaza with a life-sized statue of Wells. The monument is adjacent to the historic Beale Street Baptist Church, where Wells produced the Free Speech newspaper.
Representation in stage and filmEdit
The PBS documentary series American Experience aired on October 24, 1989 – season 2, episode 4 (one-hour) – "Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice", written and directed by William Greaves. The documentary featured excerpts of Wells' memoirs read by Toni Morrison. (viewable via YouTube)
In 1995, the play In Pursuit of Justice: A One-Woman Play About Ida B. Wells, written by Wendy D. Jones (born 1953) and starring Janice Jenkins, was produced. It draws on historical incidents and speeches from Wells' autobiography, and features fictional letters to a friend. It won four awards from the AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee Inc.), an organization that honors Black theater.
In 1999, a staged reading of the play Iola's Letter, written by Michon Boston (née Michon Alana Boston; born 1962), was performed at Howard University in Washington, D.C., under the direction of Vera J. Katz,[b] including then-student Chadwick Boseman among the cast. The play is inspired by the real-life events that compelled a 29-year-old Ida B. Wells to launch an anti-lynching crusade from Memphis in 1892 using her newspaper, Free Speech.
Wells' life is the subject of Constant Star (2002), a widely performed musical drama by Tazewell Thompson, who was inspired to write it by the 1989 documentary Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice. Thompson's play explores Wells as "a seminal figure in Post-Reconstruction America".
Wells was played by Adilah Barnes in the 2004 film Iron Jawed Angels. The film dramatizes a moment during the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 when Wells ignored instructions to march with the segregated parade units and crossed the lines to march with the other members of her Illinois chapter.
- The Arkansas Race Riot (Manuscript). 1920 – via Northern Illinois University Digital Library.
- Mob Rule in New Orleans: Robert Charles and His Fight to Death, the Story of His Life, Burning Human Beings Alive, Other Lynching Statistics. 1900.
- The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States. 1895.
- Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. New York: New York Age Print. 1892 – via Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, New York Public Library.
- 48th Illinois General Assembly, Regular Biennial Session:
- May 7, 1913: Senate Bill 63 – State Senator Hugh Stewart Magill, Jr. (1868–1958), from Princeton, sponsored a limited women's suffrage bill. The Illinois Senate (the Upper House) passed it May 7, 1913, by a vote of 29 to 15 – three more than the required majority.
- June 11, 1913: The House posed a stiffer challenge, right up to the day of the vote. The Illinois House of Representatives (the Lower House) passed it June 11, 1913, by a vote of 83 to 58.
- June 26, 1913: Governor Edward F. Dunne signed the bill June 26, 1913, in Springfield. The signing ceremony was filmed for the movies.
- Vera J. Katz (née Vera Joy Weintraub; born 1936) is Professor Emerita from Howard University, Department of Theater Arts, where she taught acting and directing for 32 years – from 1969 to about 2001. [Like many of the writers cited in this article], Katz has devoted much of her career to fighting bigotry. (Hentoff March 28, 1994)
- Giddings, Encyclopedia 2013.
- Ida b. Wells' American Lynching Chronicles
- Wells Papers, Univ. Chicago.
- Pulitzer 2020.
- Matthews, Dasha.
- Giddings, Sword Among Lions, 2008, pp. 5–10.
- Black, Patti Carr.
- Mitchell, p. D13.
- Heather-Lea, pp. 4 & 7 (section A).
- Bay, p. 67.
- Yaeger, October 21, 2015.
- Franklin, pp. 61, 63–65.
- Fradin & Fradin, p. 21.
- Chesapeake, O. & S. R. Co. v. Wells, 1887, p. 5.
- Wells–Duster, 1970, p. xviii.
- Peavey & Smith, pp. 46–49.
- Giddings, Sword Among Lions, 2008, pp. 178–180, 183, 207.
- Douglass, Frederick 1892, p. 25.
- Wells–Duster, 1970, p. 52.
- "Horrible but True", January 16, 1892, p. 1.
- Chase, p. 3.
- Wells, Southern Horrors 1892, pp. 3–5.
- Schechter, p. 70.
- "A Bright Woman", p. 1 (section 2).
- Sheriff, p. 63 (footnote 46).
- Schechter, p. 79.
- Sheriff, pp. 63–64.
- Wells, Southern Horrors 1892.
- Wells, Southern Horrors 1892, p. 23.
- Cairnes, p. 343.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 8.
- Wells, Red Record.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 9.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 12.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 71.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 82.
- "Key Findings", p. 4.
- Johnston & Oliver, p. 24.
- Thompson, p. 238.
- Allen,[full citation needed].
- Zackodnik, p. 264.
- Bay, p. 4.
- Duster, Michelle, p. 13.
- Wells–Duster, 1970, p. 125.
- Elliott, p. 242.
- Busby, p. 150.
- Washington, Linn.
- Paisana, p. 197.
- Smith, David.
- "Miss Wells", June 13, 1895.
- Ritchie, p. 165.
- Schechter, p. 176.
- Jordan, Brucella Wiggins, pp. 195–196.
- Tichi, p. 340 (note 16).
- Nettles, Arionne Alyssa.
- Seymour, pp. 333.
- Palmer, pp. 106–107.
- Du Bois 1940, p. 224.
- Wells–Duster, 1970, p. 322.
- Rooney & Lemerand, p. 650.
- Doenecke, pp. 358–359.
- Schechter, pp. 94–95.
- Wells, Douglass, Penn, Barnett, 1893.
- Bonfiglio, p. C2.
- National Association of Colored Women's Clubs.
- Honoring Ida B. Wells.
- National Afro-American Council.
- Wells–Duster, 1970, p. 258.
- Pinar 2009, pp. 77–79.
- Gyimah, p. 977.
- Schechter, p. 14.
- Schechter, p. 199.
- Pinar 2001.
- Schechter, p. 102.
- Wells, Red Record, p. 84.
- Mann, p. 12.
- Wells, Chicago Daily News, 1911.
- Schechter, p. 194.
- Illinois Senate Journal 1914.
- Illinois House Journal 1914.
- Alpha Suffrage Record, 1914, p. 1.
- Schechter, p. 205.
- Bay, p. 290.
- Flexner & Fitzpatrick, p. 318.
- Stillion Southard, p. 85.
- McCluskey, p. 8.
- Stansell, p. 127.
- Duster, Alfreda.
- Northwestern University.
- Type Investigations.
- University of Louisville.
- New York County Lawyers Association.
- Wells-Barnett Museum.
- Wells-Barnett Museum (home page).
- National Women's Hall of Fame.
- Burleigh, p. 2; section 6.
- Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.
- USPS: Women stamps, p. 3.
- USPS: African American stamps, p. 2.
- Sama, p. 11 (section 14).
- University of Memphis.
- King, Oona.
- "Our Creation Story".
- Brown, DeNeen L.
- Linton & Dickerson.
- Pratt & Byrne.
- I Am Birmingham.
- Collins, Sam P.K., p. 24.
- Mississippi Writers Trail.
- "A Monument To Journalist, Civil Rights Activist Ida B. Wells Is Unveiled In Chicago". Retrieved August 7, 2021.
- "Memphis Unveils New Ida. B. Wells Monument". Retrieved August 7, 2021.
- Hentoff March 28, 1994.
- Perkins & Stephens.
- Gates, Anita.
Books, journals, magazines, academic papers, online blogs
- Allen, James E. (2011) . Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America. Santa Fe: Twin Palms Publisher.
- Book (1st ed.) (July 31, 1999); OCLC 936079991
- Book (10th ed.) (February 1, 2000): OCLC 994750311, 751138477; ISBN 0-944092-69-1; ISBN 978-0-944092-69-9
- Book (11th ed.) (2011): OCLC 1075938297
- Roth Horowitz Gallery, 160A East 70th Street, Manhattan (January 14, 2000 – February 12, 2000); Andrew Roth and Glenn Horowitz, gallery co-owners, Witness: Photographs of Lynchings from the Collection of James Allen and John Littlefield, organized by Andrew Roth
- New York Historical Society (March 14, 2000 – October 1, 2000); OCLC 809988821, Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, curated by James Allen and Julia Hotton
- Andy Warhol Museum (September 22, 2001 – February 21, 2002), The Without Sanctuary Project, curated by James Allen; co-directed by Jessica Arcand and Margery King
- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park (May 1, 2002 – December 31, 2002), Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America; OCLC 782970109, curated by Joseph F. Jordan, PhD (né Joseph Ferdinand Jordan, Jr.; born 1951); Douglas H. Quin, PhD (born 1956) exhibition designer; National Park Service MLK site team: Frank Catroppa, Saudia Muwwakkil, and Melissa English-Rias
- The 2002 short film, Without Sanctuary, directed by Matt Dibble (né Matthew Phillips Dibble; born 1959) and produced by Joseph F. Jordan, PhD (né Joseph Ferdinand Jordan, Jr.; born 1951), accompanied the 2002–2003 exhibition by the same name, Without Sanctuary, at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park (co-sponsored by Emory University)
- Digital format (2008): OCLC 1179211921, 439904269 (Overview, Movie, Photos, Forum)
- Official website; part of collection at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University
Exhibitions, film, digital:
- Alpha Suffrage Record, The (March 18, 1914). "The Alpha Suffrage Club" (PDF) (inaugural newsletter). 1 (1). Chicago: Alpha Suffrage Club. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via Living History of Illinois and Chicago, Neil Gale, Curator.
- Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). "Ida B. Wells-Barnett". 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 110, 309–311. ISBN 1-57392-963-8. LCCN 2002018993. OCLC 1018143510. Article: 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical EncyclopediaCS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Baker, Lee D. (February 2012). "Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Fighting and Writing for Justice" (PDF). eJournal USA. U.S. Department of State. 16 (6): 6–8. ISSN 1949-7644. OCLC 700047682. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
- Bay, Mia (2009). To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells. Hill & Wang. ISBN 978-0-8090-1646-4. OCLC 1032224630. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- Berenson, Tessa C. (July 16, 2015). "Today's Google Doodle Celebrates Journalist Ida B. Wells' Birthday". Time.com (online). ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Biography Editors (January 16, 2020) [April 27, 2017]. "Ida B. Wells". Biography. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
- Black, Patti Carr (February 2001). "Ida B. Wells: A Courageous Voice for Civil Rights". Mississippi History Now (online publication). Mississippi Historical Society. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Boissoneault, Lorraine (January 21, 2017). "The Original Women's March on Washington and the Suffragists Who Paved the Way". Smithsonian (online). ISSN 0037-7333. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- Brody, Richard (July 27, 2020). "What to Stream – Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice". Goings on About Town: Movies. The New Yorker. Vol. 96 no. 21. p. 8. Retrieved November 12, 2020. OCLC 877711126 (all editions). ISSN 0028-792X.
- Busby, Margaret, ed. (1992). "Ida B. Wells (Barnett)". Daughters of Africa. Jonathan Cape / Ballentine Books. p. 150. ISBN 0-345-38268-4. LCCN 93-90470. OCLC 925350164. Retrieved November 1, 2020 – via Internet Archive. Article: Daughters of AfricaCS1 maint: postscript (link).
- Cardon, Dustin (February 27, 2018). "Ida B. Wells". Jackson Free Press (blog). Jackson, Mississippi. Retrieved February 14, 2019. Note: the article is not in the print edition (back issues at ISSUU).CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Cairnes, John Elliott (professor) (August 1865). "The Negro Suffrage". Macmillan's Magazine. 12 (68): 334–343.
- CCWH. "Ida B. Wells Graduate Student Fellowship". Columbia, Maryland: Coordinating Council for Women in History. Retrieved February 22, 2017. (awarded annually since 1999)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company v. Ida B. Wells. (Supreme Court of Tennessee; April Term, 1887)". Southwestern Reporter. (Vol. 4. May 16, 1887 – August 1, 1887). St. Paul: West Publishing Company: 5. Retrieved May 12, 2012 – via Internet Archive.
... her persistence was not in good faith ...
- "Ida B. Wells". chicagoliteraryhof.org. Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. November 15, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2017. (inducted during the Second Annual Ceremony at the Harold Washington Library November 15, 2011; the article includes a video.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Cruickshank, Matt (doodler) (July 16, 2015). "Ida B. Wells' 153rd Birthday". Google Doodle. Retrieved January 14, 2019. Google Doodles Archive.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Curry, Tommy J. (Fall 2012). "The Fortune of Wells: Ida B. Wells-Barnett's Use of T. Thomas Fortune's Philosophy of Social Agitation as a Prolegomenon to Militant Civil Rights Activism". Transactions. Charles Sanders Peirce Society. 48 (4): 456–482. doi:10.2979/trancharpeirsoc.48.4.456. LCCN 0009-1774. OCLC 844279727. S2CID 145734549.
- Danielle, Britni (March 8, 2018). "The New York Times Is Finally Giving Ida B. Wells Her Due". Essence. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- DeCosta-Willis, Miriam (March 1, 2018) [October 8, 2017]. "Ida B. Wells-Barnett". Tennessee Encyclopedia (online). Tennessee Historical Society. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Doenecke, Justus Drew (2002). "Wells-Barnett, Ida (1862–1931)". In Commire, Anne (1939–2012); Klezmer, Deborah; Morgan, Barbara (eds.). Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Vol. 16 (Vict–X). Yorkin Publications (The Gale Group). pp. 352–360. ISBN 0-7876-4075-1. LCCN 99-24692. OCLC 593847777. Retrieved November 7, 2020 – via Internet Archive. (also accessible online: "Wells-Barnett, Ida" via encyclopedia.com. Retrieved November 7, 2020)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Douglass, Frederick (2002). "Letter from Frederick Douglass to Ida B. Wells; October 25, 1892". In Gabbidon, Shaun L.; Greene, Helen Taylor; Young, Vernetta Diane (eds.). African American Classics in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Sage Publications. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-7619-2433-3. OCLC 5559711186.
- Duster, Alfreda (née Alfreda Marguerita Barnett; 1904–1983) (radio guest); Terkel, Studs (radio host) (September 3, 1971). "Alfreda Wells discusses her mother, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and her book 'Crusade for Justice'" (verbal transcript and sound recording) (radio transcript). Chicago: Studs Terkel Radio Archive at WFMT.
- Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt (1970) . Dusk of Dawn; An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept. New York: Schocken Books (1970); Harcourt, Brace & Company (1940). ISBN 9783847201823. LCCN 65-14825. OCLC 552187560. Retrieved October 28, 2020 – via Internet Archive.[verification needed]
- Duster, Michelle Lynn (compiler and author) (2010). Ida From Abroad: The Timeless Writings of Ida B. Wells From England in 1894 (self published). Chicago: Benjamin Williams Publishing, LLC (currently South Holland, Illinois: BW Publishing). ISBN 978-0-9802-3989-8. OCLC 608235660 Note: Michelle Lynn Duster (born 1963) is a great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett by way of her paternal grandmother, Alfreda Duster; she is a nephew of academician Troy Duster, PhD.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Elliott, Mark Emory (2006). Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessey v. Ferguson. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-1953-7021-8. LCCN 2006011311. Related articles: Albion Mourgée and Plessey v. Ferguson. OCLC all editions.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Enright, Mairead (March 8, 2018). "Gender and Legal History in Birmingham and the West Midlands – Ida B. Wells and the Birmingham Connection" (Enright's blog at the University of Birmingham). Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Flexner, Eleanor; Fitzpatrick, Ellen Frances (2000) [1959, 1975, 1996]. Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States (enlarged ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-6741-0653-6. LCCN 96-5651. OCLC 634643994 – via Internet Archive.
- Fradin, Dennis B.; Fradin, Judith Bloom (2000). Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 21. ISBN 0-395-89898-6. OCLC 64586878.
- Franklin, Vincent P. (1995). Living Our Stories, Telling Our Truths: Autobiography and the Making of African American Intellectual Tradition. Oxford University Press. pp. 61–65. ISBN 978-0-6891-2192-0. OCLC 31606548.
- Giddings, Paula J. (2008). Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching. Amistad Press. ISBN 978-0-0619-7294-2. OCLC 865473600.
- Giddings, Paula J. (2013). "Wells-Barnett, Ida B. 1862–1931". In Mason, Patrick Leon (ed.). Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Vol. 4: S–Z (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA, an imprint of Gale. pp. 265–267. ISBN 978-0-0286-6024-0. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
- Giddings, Paula J. (2008). "Wells-Barnett, Ida B. 1862–1931". In Moore, John Hartwell (ed.). Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Vol. 3: S–Z (1st ed.). MacMillan Reference USA, an imprint of Gale. pp. 207–219. ISBN 978-0-0286-6023-3. LCCN 2007024359. Retrieved October 18, 2020 – via Internet Archive.
- Goings, Kenneth W. (October 7, 2019) [October 8, 2017]. "Memphis Free Speech". Tennessee Encyclopedia. Tennessee Historical Society. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- Gyimah, Miriam C. (2008). "Wells-Barnett, Ida B". In Boyce Davies, Carole (ed.). Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. ABC-Clio. pp. 976–978. ISBN 978-1-8510-9700-5. LCCN 2008011880. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Honoring Ida B. Wells With Chicago's First Monument to an African American Woman". BPI – Business and Professional People for the Public Interest. Chicago. October 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2020. (the article includes a video with commentary by Michelle Lynn Duster and Danial B. Duster, siblings and great-grandchildren of Ida B. Wells)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Johnston, Hank; Oliver, Pamela Elaine, eds. (2020). Racialized Protest and the State: Resistance and Repression in a Divided America. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-367-26353-9. LCCN 2020008052. OCLC 1159575442. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
- Jones, Wendy D. "Wendy Jones". AALBC.com (autobiography). Tampa, Florida: AALBC.com, LLC (African American Literature Book Club). Retrieved November 3, 2020. The article is a short autobiography connected to the author's 2017 book, An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones [née Josephine Ebaugh; 1920–2017] – the author's mother. "I come from a family of storytellers. My mother and my grandmother [Anna Mae Ebaugh, née Nance; 1888–1982] were my first teachers."CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Jordan, Brucella Wiggins (2003). Ida B. Wells, Catherine Impey, and Trans-Atlantic Dimensions of the Nineteenth-Century Anti-Lynching Movement (PhD dissertation, history, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History). Morgantown: West Virginia University. Retrieved November 17, 2020. OCLC 52488224, 1158307686.
- "Key Findings". Lynching in America – Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (PDF) (eBook) (3rd ed.). Montgomery, Alabama: Equal Justice Initiative. 2017. OCLC 1160165955. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
Citing → Tolnay, Stewart Emory; Beck, Elwood Meredith (1992). A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882–1930. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06413-5. LCCN 94-7396. OCLC 1015166019. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
Quoting → Raper, Arthur Franklin (1899–1979) (1936). The Mob Still Rides: A Review of the Lynching Record, 1931–1935. Atlanta, Georgia: Commission on Interracial Cooperation. OCLC 1130312430.
- King, Oona (radio guest); Parris, Matthew (radio host) (August–October 2014). "Baroness Oona King on Ida B Wells". BBC Radio 4 (audio archive of a radio broadcast). Great Lives; Series 34; Episode 3 of 9. Bristol. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- Klinger, Jerry (né Jerrold Ira Klinger; born 1948) (July 15, 2019). "Jewish Group Helps Dedicate Ida Wells-Barnett Marker". San Diego Jewish World (online). Retrieved July 17, 2019. Klinger, among other things, is the founder of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Mann, Susan A. (Summer 2011). "Pioneers of U.S. Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice". Feminist Formations. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 23 (2): 1–25. doi:10.1353/ff.2011.0028. ISSN 2151-7363. JSTOR 41301654. OCLC 752343699. S2CID 146349456.
- Matthews, Dasha (February 21, 2018). "Ida B. Wells: Suffragist, Feminist, and Leader". info.umkc.edu – University of Missouri–Kansas City. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
- McBride, Jennifer (1999) [c. 1998]. "Ida B. Wells: Crusade for Justice" (online). Webster University. Retrieved January 30, 2013. (Note: McBride, who graduated from Webster University in 1999, authored the essay while enrolled in an advanced seminar with Linda M. Woolf, Ph.D.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- McCluskey, Audrey Thomas (2014). A Forgotten Sisterhood: Pioneering Black Women Educations and Activists in the Jim Crow South. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-1138-4. OCLC 883647209. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
- McKinney, Megan (August 19, 2018). "Ida B. Wells: The 'Drive' in Her Name – A Long Wait for a Distinguished Lady" (online). Vintage. Chicago Classic Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- McMurry, Linda O. (1998). To Keep the Waters Troubled: The Life of Ida B. Wells. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195139273. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
- Mississippi Writers Trail (November 7, 2019). "Historical Marker: Ida B. Wells". Jackson: Mississippi Arts Commission. Retrieved June 16, 2020. (A commemorative historical marker was unveiled November 7, 2019, at Rust College, Holly Springs.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Mitchell, Judylynn (November 11, 1979). "Daughter of Slave Fights for Racial Justice". The Daily Times. 56 (343). Salisbury, Maryland. p. D13. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Myrick-Harris, Clarissa (July 2002) [online version: June 30, 2002]. "Against All Odds". Smithsonian. 33 (4): 70–77. Retrieved November 12, 2020. ISSN 0037-7333. OCLC 718515121 (all editions). OCLC 96987499 (all editions).
- "NABJ: Ida B. Wells Award". www.nabj.org. National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- "National Afro-American Council". NKAA – Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (encyclopedic entry). Lexington: University of Kentucky Libraries. Special Collections. OCLC 54673947. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
- "National Association of Colored Women's Clubs". Encyclopædia Britannica (online). August 4, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- National Women's Hall of Fame (November 15, 1988). "Ida B. Wells-Barnett". Seneca Falls, New York. Retrieved November 22, 2018. (Selected in 1986, posthumously inducted in a ceremony at the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester on November 15, 1988.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Nettles, Arionne Alyssa (November 4, 2019). "Ida B. Wells' Lasting Impact on Chicago Politics and Power". WBEZ Chicago (local production). NPR affiliate. Retrieved November 15, 2020 (audio, text, photos, newspaper clippings)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- New York County Lawyers' Association (February 25, 2020). "18th Annual Ida B. Wells Barnett Award Reception". Retrieved November 3, 2020 – via YouTube.
- Northwestern University. "Ida B. Wells Award". Evanston, Illinois: Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- "Our Creation Story". Chapel Hill: Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Retrieved February 16, 2018 – via idabwellssociety
- Paisana, Joanne Madin Vieira (2016). Mendes, João Ribeiro (ed.). "Playing the Transatlantic Card: The British Anti-Lynching Campaigns of Ida B. Wells" (PDF). Diacrítica (ejournal). Series: Philosophy and Culture ("Cosmopolitan Challenges" – "500 Anos de Utopia" – "Homenagem a René Girard" ed.). Printed in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, by the University of Minho. 30 (2): 187–203. Retrieved November 12, 2020. (the journal is in Portuguese; however, this article, and others, are in English) (the journal is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC).CS1 maint: postscript (link) ISSN 0870-8967 (paper). ISSN 2183-9174 (ejournal). OCLC 1187195460 (all editions). OCLC 639150526 (all editions)
- Palmer, Stephanie C. (2009). "Wells-Barnett, Ida B". In Finkelman, Paul (ed.). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-First Century. 5. Oxford University Press. pp. 107–108. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195301731.013.46339. ISBN 978-0-1951-6779-5. LCCN 2008034263. OCLC 828073382.
- Pavithra, Mohan (August 8, 2018). "How These Women Raised $42k in a Day for an Ida B. Wells Monument". Fast Company (blog). Retrieved January 14, 2019. (article is online only, not in a print edition)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Peavey, Linda; Smith, Ursula (April 2019). "A Determined Quest for Equality – How Ida B. Wells Battled Jim Crow in Memphis". Memphis (monthly magazine). Contemporary Media. 44 (1): 46–49. Retrieved October 25, 2020. Alternate link via ISSUU (a version of this story was published in the June 1983 issue of Memphis).CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Perkins, Kathy A.; Stephens, Judith Louise (Judith Stephens-Lorenz), eds. (1998). Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 366–408. ISBN 0-253-33356-3. LCCN 97-29605. OCLC 751143552. Retrieved November 6, 2020 – via Internet Archive. (link via Google Books; Perkins, among other things, was, in 2007, inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre (see CV); Stephens retired as Professor of Humanities and Theatre at Penn State Schuylkill, where she had been an educator since 1977)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Michon Boston" (1962– ), pp. 366–367
- Iola's Letter (1994), pp. 368–408
- Pinar, William Frederick (January 2001). "8 – White Women and the Campaign Against Lynching: Frances Willard, Jane Addams, Jesse Daniel Ames". Counterpoints. Vol. 163 – The Gender of Racial Politics and Violence in America: Lynching, Prison Rape, & the Crisis of Masculinity. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 163: 487–554. ISSN 1058-1634. JSTOR 42977758. OCLC 5792541764. (Pinar offers a description of the accusations made between Willard and Wells in England in 1894.)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Pinar, William Frederick (2009). The Worldliness of a Cosmopolitan Education: Passionate Lives in Public Service. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-1358-4485-1. LCCN 2008046092. OCLC 846131889.
- Portrait of Ida B. Wells (April 6, 2006). "A Celebration of Ida B. Wells". (i) Institute of Politics & (ii) Women and Public Policy Program (co-sponsors) (archived video of a forum; 1:08:15). Cambridge: Harvard Kennedy School Forum. John F. Kennedy, Jr., Forum. Retrieved February 22, 2017. (the video relates to the unveiling of several new portraits installed at the Kennedy School, including a poster reproduction of a painting of Ida B. Wells – painted by Patricia Watwood – commissioned by the school for $20,000 and installed April 2006 in the Fainsod Room of the Littauer Building, next Winston Churchill's portrait)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Portwood, Shirley J. (Winter 2000–2001). "Reviewed Work: The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition: The Afro-American Contribution to Columbian Literature by Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Irvine Garland Penn, Ferdinand Barnett, Robert W. Rydell". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (book review). 93 (4): 457–459. ISBN 9783847201823. ISSN 1522-1067. JSTOR 40193465. OCLC 5542906749. Review of the 1893 work, The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition: The Afro-American Contribution to Columbian Literature, by Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Irvine Garland Penn, and Ferdinand Barnett. Re-published 1999. Robert W. Rydell (ed.); Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois PressCS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Pulitzer Prize (May 4, 2020). "Announcement of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners – Special Citation: Ida B. Wells". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved May 5, 2020. "For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching."CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Quakers Against Racism: Catherine Impey and the Anti-Caste Journal". Quakers of the World (co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust). Retrieved November 11, 2018. (re: Catherine Impey and the Anti-Caste journal:CS1 maint: postscript (link)OCLC 607352452).
- Ritchie, Donald A. (2007) . "Part 3. Society's Critics (1900–1945)" ... "Ida B. Wells-Barnett". American Journalists – Getting the Story. Oxford University Press. pp. 164–166. ISBN 978-0-1953-2837-0. LCCN 96-29208. OCLC 1099791041. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via Internet Archive.
- Rooney, Terrie M.; Lemerand, Karen E., eds. (1998). "Ida B. Wells-Barnett". Contemporary Heroes and Heroines. 3. Gale Research. pp. 644–651. ISBN 978-0-7876-2215-2. OCLC 38956591. Retrieved November 9, 2020 – via Internet Archive. (also accessible online: "Ida B. Wells-Barnett" via the Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved November 7, 2020)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Schechter, Patricia (January 14, 2003). Ida B. Wells–Barnett and American Reform: 1880–1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807875469. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- Seymour, James B., Jr. (2006). "Wells-Barnett, Ida B". In Finkelman, Paul (ed.). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-First Century. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 333–334. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195301731.013.46339. ISBN 978-0-1951-6777-1. LCCN 2005033701. OCLC 607234039.
- Sheriff, Stacey Ellen (December 2009). Rhetoric and Revision: Women's Arguments for Social Justice in the Progressive Era (PhD, Department of English). Pennsylvania State University. OCLC 783231213. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- Stansell, Christine (2010). The Feminist Promise – 1792 to the Present. New York: The Modern Library. pp. 126–128. ISBN 978-0-8129-7202-3. LCCN 2009026662. OCLC 770464849. Retrieved February 16, 2017 – via Internet Archive.
- Stetz, Margaret Diane (Spring 2018). "Re-Embodying Ida B. Wells: A Figure of Resistance in American Popular Culture". Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900 to Present (online). Hollywood. 17 (1). ISSN 1553-8931. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
- Stillion Southard, Belinda A. (née Belinda A. Stillion; born 1978) (2011). Militant Citizenship: Rhetorical Strategies of the National Woman's Party, 1913–1920. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-60344-281-7. LCCN 2011005218. OCLC 892519712.
- Thompson, Mildred Isabelle (1990). Ida B. Wells-Barnett: An Exploratory Study of an American Black Woman, 1893–1930. Black Women in United States History. 15. Brooklyn: Carlton Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9260-1921-8. LCCN 90-1399. OCLC 21035436. Retrieved November 9, 2020 – via Internet Archive. (this book, Vol. 15 of a 16-vol. set, is an adaptation of Thompson's 1979 PhD dissertation at George Washington University; OCLC 78529680).
- Tichi, Celelia (née Cecelia Louise Halbert; born 1942) (2011). "Chapter 7". Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (end notes). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-7191-1. LCCN 2009011634. OCLC 1055332079. Retrieved October 28, 2020 – via Internet Archive (webcast via Library of Congress).CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Introduction". Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells (version 9 ed.). Evanston, Illinois: Frances Willard House Museum and Archives. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
- Type Investigations Fellowship. "Ida B. Wells Fellowship". www.typeinvestigations.org. New York: Type Investigations, formerly The Investigative Fund, the investigateive newsroom of the Type Media Center. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- University of Louisville. "Ida B. Wells Award". Retrieved February 22, 2017. (an award for diligence and achievement conferred to a bachelor of science senior majoring in criminal justice)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- University of Memphis, Department of Philosophy (2007– ). "Ida B. Wells Conference". Retrieved May 4, 2020. (held annually since 2007)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- USPS: Women stamps (May 2020) . USPS Historian (ed.). "Women Subjects on United States Postage Stamps" (PDF). Postal History. Black Heritage. United States Postal Service. pp. 1–8. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
- USPS: African American stamps (May 2020) [August 2013]. USPS Historian (ed.). "African American Subjects on United States Postage Stamps" (PDF). Postal History. United States Postal Service. pp. 1–6. Retrieved November 3, 2020 (citing which stamps are part of the Black Heritage series)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Viagas, Robert (December 1, 1995). "AuDelCo Award Winners". Playbill (online). New York: Playbill Inc. Retrieved January 31, 2018. See: AUDELCO.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Wagner, Ella; et al., eds. (March 14, 2019). "Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells, Introduction". Frances Willard House Museum and Archives. Evanston, Illinois. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Wells-Barnett Museum (Ida B.)". Holly Springs, Mississippi: The Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- "Wells-Barnett Museum (Ida B.)". Holly Springs, Mississippi: The Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
- Wells, Ida Bell (1970). Duster, Alfreda (ed.). Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-89344-8. LCCN 73108837. OCLC 8162296586. Retrieved September 8, 2019 – via Internet Archive (Negro American Biographies and Autobiographies Series. John Hope Franklin, Series Editor)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Wells, Ida B. (1894) [1892–1893]. The Red Record – Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynchings in the United States, 1892 – 1893 – 1894. Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry. Retrieved November 23, 2020 – via Frederick Douglass Papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. OCLC 26846545 (all editions). Library of Congress, Manuscript/Mixed Material – www
.loc .gov /item /mfd .40021. Also transcribed by Project Gutenberg → e-book No. 17977 (released February 8, 2005).
- "Wells, Ida B., Papers, 1884–1976". Joseph Regenstein Library, University of Chicago. Special Collections. 1978. OCLC 19496699. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
- Wells, Ida B.; Douglass, Frederick; Penn, Garland I.; Bernett, Ferdinand Lee (1893). Wells, Ida B. (ed.). The Reason Why: The Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition. Chicago: Miss Ida B. Wells, 128 S. Clark Street. OCLC 702372532. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via University of Pennsylvania Libraries. LCCN mfd.25023CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Wells, Ida B. (1892). Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. New York: New York Age Print – via Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, New York Public Library.
- Wikimapia. "Ida B. Wells Homes Chicago, Illinois". wikimapia.org. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- Willard, Frances (interviewed) (October 23, 1890). "The Race Problem – Miss Willard on the Political Puzzle of the South". New York Voice (weekly pro-prohibition newspaper). 7. New York, Astor Place: Funk & Wagnalls Company. OCLC 32278752 – via Frances Willard House Museum and Archives, Chicago. (the article is an inverview with Willard by the New York Voice when she was in Atlanta in October 1890 for WCTU's annual convention, wherein she stated: "The grog shop is its center of power. The safety of woman, of childhood, of the home is menaced in a thousand localities at this moment, so that men dare not go beyond the sight of their own roof tree.")CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Yaeger, Lynn (October 21, 2015). "The African-American Suffragists History Forgot". Vogue (online). Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- Zackodnik, Teresa Christine (July–August 2005). "Ida B. Wells and 'American Atrocities" in Britain". Women's Studies International Forum. ScienceDirect (Elsevier). 28 (4): 259–273. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2005.04.012. ISSN 0277-5395. OCLC 936719646. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- "A Bright Woman". St. Joseph Daily News. 17 (9). St. Joseph, Missouri. June 11, 1895. p. 7. OCLC 13745156. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
(also LCCN sn86063691)
- Bonfiglio, Jeremy Dean (February 19, 2012). "Great Grandson of Influential Civil Rights Pioneer Ida B. Wells Keeps Her Legacy Alive". The Herald-Palladium. 127 (50). St. Joseph, Michigan. pp. 1–2 (section C). ISBN 9783847201823. OCLC 669922511. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via Newspapers.com Note: Daniel B. Duster (born 1968), in the article, is a great-grandson of Ida B. Wells-Barnett by way of his paternal grandmother, Alfreda Duster; he is a nephew of academician Troy Duster, PhD.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Brown, DeNeed L. (April 26, 2018). "Ida B. Wells: Lynching Museum, Memorial Honors Woman Who Fought Lynching". The Washington Post ("Retropolis" – a history blog; online). Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- Burgess, Katherine (October 26, 2020). "Ida B. Wells was driven out of Memphis in 1892. She might soon have her own statue there". USA Today. Retrieved November 4, 2020. "One of the loudest voices speaking out against Wells in Memphis was Edward Ward Carmack, editor of the Memphis Commercial, the predecessor of The Commercial Appeal. He demanded that White citizens retaliate against 'the Black wench' for her writings against the lynchings."CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Burleigh, Nina (August 21, 1988). "Hall of Fame Will Induct 10". Chicago Tribune. 142 (234). p. 2, section 6. ISSN 1085-6706. Retrieved June 30, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Cavna, Michael (July 16, 2015). "Here's Why Google Doodle Salutes Fearless, Peerless Word-Warrior Ida B. Wells". The Washington Post (online). Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Chase, William Calvin, ed. (October 22, 1892). "Miss Ida B. Wells – A Lecture". (3-column, tombstone-style advertisement). The Washington Bee (weekly newspaper, Saturdays). 11 (19). Washington, D.C.: Bee Publishing. p. 3. ISSN 1940-7424. LCCN sn84025891. OCLC 10587828. Retrieved November 10, 2020 – via Chronicling America.
- Collins, Sam P. K. (April 4–10, 2019). "D.C.'s Newest Middle School Named After Ida B. Wells". Education. The Washington Informer. 54 (25) (digitized print ed.). ISSN 0741-9414 – via ISSUU. The online edition, here, is dated March 26, 2019.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Dickerson, Caitlin (March 9, 2018) [March 8, 2018]. Padnani, Amisha (Amy); Bennett, Jessica (eds.). "Ida B. Wells, Who Took on Racism in the Deep South With Powerful Reporting on Lynchings" (online). Women We Overlooked in 167 Years of New York Times Obituaries. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- Gates, Anita (July 23, 2006). "Theater Review; A Pageant Based on History, With Songs That Yearn". The New York Times (National ed.). p. 14, section CN. Retrieved June 22, 2010. The article is a review of a 2002 musical drama, Constant Star, produced July 13–30, 2006, at the Westport Country Playhouse.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Greene, Morgan (May 4, 2020). "Ida B. Wells Receives Pulitzer Prize Citation: 'The Only Thing She Really Had Was the Truth'". Chicago Tribune (online). ISSN 1085-6706. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Grossman, Ron (June 23, 2013). "Illinois Women Win the Right to Vote". Chicago Tribune (online). ISSN 1085-6706. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
- Heather-Lea, Patricia (March 30, 2017). "Letter to the Editor: Ida Wells an inspiring heroine for International Women's Day". Addison County Independent. 71 (13). Middlebury, Vermont. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
- Hentoff, Nat (March 28, 1994). "One Teacher's Struggle to Overcome Bigotry". Pasadena Star-News. p. A10. Retrieved November 6, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Hineman, Brinley (June 12, 2020). "Protesters Hang an 'Ida B. Wells Plaza' Banner Where a Statue of Edward Carmack Stood Before It Was Toppled by Protesters". The Tennessean (online video). Nashville. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- "Horrible but True". Cleveland Gazette. 9 (23). January 16, 1892. p. 1 – via Ohio Historical Society.
- "Birmingham Blue Plaque Unveiled to Commemorate Civil Rights Activist Ida B. Wells". I Am Birmingham (digital-only news). Birmingham, England: Adam Yosef. February 14, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
- Jalabi, Raya (July 16, 2015). "Ida B Wells, African American Activist, Honored by Google". The Guardian (online). London. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Linton, Caroline (TV host); Dickerson, Caitlin (TV guest) (March 8, 2018). "'We Want to Address These Inequities of Our Time': NYT Starts New Series Featuring Overlooked Obituaries". CBS News (online video & text). Retrieved March 31, 2019. The link to the article includes both text and video.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Miss Ida B. Wells About to Marry". The Washington Post. June 13, 1895. ISSN 2641-0702. LCCN sn82014727. OCLC 8787120. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
- Pratt, Gregory; Byrne, John (July 25, 2018). "Ida B. Wells Gets Her Street—City Council Approves Renaming Congress in Her Honor". Chicago Tribune (online). chicagotribune
.com. ISSN 1085-6706. Retrieved July 28, 2018. Chicago Tribune's Lolly Bowean contributed.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Rogers, Phil (TV news reporter) (April 11, 2018). "Great-Granddaughter of Ida B. Wells Looks to Erect Memorial" (archived video of a TV broadcast of local news). NBC Chicago (NBC 5). Retrieved November 3, 2020. (news reporter Rogers interviews Michelle Duster)CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Sama, Dominic (February 4, 1990). "Issues Honor Ida B. Wells, Judicial System". Chicago Tribune. 143 (35) (Final ed.). p. 11 (section 14). Retrieved November 11, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Shaw, Nichole (June 30, 2021). "Unveiling of Ida B. Wells Monument in Bronzeville met with 'joy, excitement, appreciation and humbleness'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
- Slevin, Peter (July 10, 2018). "History: Movement to Honor Anti-Lynching Crusader and Journalist Ida B. Wells in Chicago Is Gaining Momentum, and Is 'Long Overdue'". Good Black News. News aggregator and blog of Facebook. (www
.goodblacknews .org). Retrieved July 13, 2018. Originally published June 20, 2018, in The Lily of The Washington Post (link), which, in turn, was an adaptation of a story in the Washington Post by Peter Slevin published June 15, 2015, titled "'You Can't Just Gloss Over This History': The Movement to Honor Ida B. Wells Gains Momentum."CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Smith, David (November 11, 2018). "Ida B Wells: The Unsung Heroine of the Civil Rights Movement". The Guardian (online) (US ed.). London. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- Washington, Linn (February 14, 2019). "Ida Wells Barnett Honored in Birmingham, England". The Chicago Crusader (online). Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Wells, Ida B. (1911). "The Negro's Quest for Work". Chicago Daily News. OCLC 11473657 (all editions).
- Reprinted by the New York Call (July 23, 1911). "The Negro's Quest for Work". LCCN sn83-30226. OCLC 9448923 (all editions).
- Transcribed and published by The Black Worker (1900 to 1919). Vol. 5. Foner, Philip Sheldon (1910–1994); Lewis, Ronald L. (eds.). Part I: "Economic Condition of the Black Worker at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century". Temple University Press. pp. 38–39 – via JSTOR j.ctvn1tcpp.5. OCLC 1129353605 (all editions).
- Wormser, Richard. "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow – Jim Crow Stories: Ida B. Wells Forced Out of Memphis (1892)". www.thirteen.org. WNET. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
Government and genealogical archives
- Flowers, Mary E. (sponsor) (February 12, 2012). "House Resolution 770: Ida B. Wells Day in the State of Illinois". House Journal, Ninety-Seventh General Assembly (PDF). Illinois House of Representatives 104th Legislative Day, Regular & Perfunctory Session. pp. 7–8. Retrieved November 9, 2020. " ... presented to Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells for efforts to protect her legacy".CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Journal of the Senate of the 48th General Assembly of the State of Illinois. Illinois Senate (Regular Biennial Session ed.). Springfield: Illinois State Journal Co. 1914. Retrieved November 9, 2020 – via Internet Archive.
- Journal of the House of Representatives of the 48th General Assembly of the State of Illinois. Illinois House of Representatives (Regular Biennial Session ed.). Springfield: Illinois State Journal Co. 1914. Retrieved November 9, 2020 – via HathiTrust.
- Buechler, Steven Michael (1990). Women's Movements in the United States: Woman Suffrage, Equal Rights, and Beyond. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-1558-0. LCCN 89-49083. OCLC 925227511.
- Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs (November 1986). "Style and Content in the Rhetoric of Early Afro‐American Feminists". Quarterly Journal of Speech. Routledge on behalf of the National Communication Association. 72 (4): 434–445. doi:10.1080/00335638609383786. eISSN 1479-5779. ISSN 0033-5630. LCCN 56053730. OCLC 4659161765.
- Davis, Elizabeth Lindsay (1855–1944) (1922). The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, 1900–1922. Chicago: Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. OCLC 830433285. Retrieved November 5, 2020 – via Internet Archive. (portraits from the book have been digitized and are archived at the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division; NYPL b11507686 – click on "Digital Gallery").
- Effinger-Crichlow, Marta (née Marta Jenell Effinger) (2014) . "Chapter 1: 'Tell My People to Go West': Ida B. Wells". Staging Migrations Toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. pp. 19–60. ISBN 978-1-6073-2311-2. OCLC 867020572. JSTOR j.ctt83jhx6 (the author published a PhD dissertation under the same title in 2000 at Northwestern University; OCLC 1194713125)
- Gere, Anne Ruggle; Robbins, Sarah Ruffing (Spring 1996). "Gendered Literacy in Black and White: Turn-of-the-Century African-American and European-American Club Women's Printed Texts". Signs. 21 (3): 643–678. doi:10.1086/495101. ISSN 0097-9740. JSTOR 3175174. OCLC 4639157083. S2CID 143859735.
- Hendricks, Wanda Ann (1998). Gender, Race, and Politics in the Midwest: Black Club Women in Illinos. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-2533-3447-3. LCCN 98-3091. OCLC 38520618.
- McCammon, Holly J. (March 2003). "'Out of the Parlors and Into the Streets': The Changing Tactical Repertoire of the U.S. Women's Suffrage Movements". Social Forces. University of Oxford Press. 81 (3): 787–818. doi:10.1353/sof.2003.0037. ISSN 0037-7732. OCLC 703594031. S2CID 143456172.
- Parker, Maegan F. (married name: Maegan Parker Brooks) (Spring 2008). "Desiring Citizenship: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Wells/Willard Controversy". Women's Studies in Communication. 31 (1): 56–78. doi:10.1080/07491409.2008.10162522. ISSN 0749-1409. OCLC 347075486. S2CID 143574671.
- Royster, Jacqueline Jones, ed. (2016) . Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892–1900 (2nd ed.). Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-1-319-04904-1. OCLC 930997497.
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- This work was originally posted on a blog that was part of UNC's Long Civil Rights Movement Project – The LCRM Project (JSTOR 3660172). It was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and UNC for five years, from 2008 to 2012, and its published works were a collaboration of (i) the UNC Special Collections Library, (ii) the University of North Carolina Press, and (iii) the Southern Oral History Program in UNC's Center for the Study of the American South. A fourth partner during the project's first three years was the Center for Civil Rights of UNC's School of Law.
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