I learned at an early age that my great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, was a force to be reckoned with.

Born a slave in Mississippi, she became a leading civil rights activist when she sued the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad for discrimination in the mid-1880s.

At the end of the 19th century, as an investigative journalism pioneer, she uncovered and documented in meticulous detail the violence of lynching. She also explained in hundreds of speeches how lynching served as a tool to terrorize the African-American community, rather than a form of punishment against alleged crimes against white women. In the early 20th century, she founded the Alpha Suffrage Club, the first African-American women’s group that advocated for their right to vote.


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