THE MOTHER OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICA: MRS. IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT...

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by Isaiah, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2002/Ida-B-Wells-Memphis1883.htm

    AFTER SLAVERY ENDED IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1865, Southern states enacted several Jim Crow laws denying equality to African-Americans. White supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan terrorized black citizens. Racist ideology dressed up as "science" depicted blacks as lascivious and inferior. It was in this charged atmosphere that some 0f the most heinous crimes ever committed in this country were sanctioned by the white community at large, and even by law officials themselves.

    Lynching-the kidnapping, torturing and killing of men, women and children by vigilante mobs-became commonplace. Between 1880 and 1930, approximately 3,220 black Americans were reported lynched, along with perhaps 723 whites. The 1880s ushered in a dramatic and prolonged rise in the percentage of African-American victims. These lawless executions, blind to any constitutional guarantee 0f due process, often attracted large crowds. Some spectators brought along children and even picnic baskets, as though the horrific murder of another human being constituted entertainment, or worse, edification. It was the brutal lynching 0f a friend in 1892 that rallied Wells, then 29, t0 the antilynching cause.

    By then, Wells had become a full-time journalist. When a series of articles she had written about her court case against the railroad was picked up by African-American newspapers across the country (and eventually led t0 a column), Wells knew what she wanted t0 do with her life. She bought part-ownership in the Free Speech, a black Memphis newspaper, and became its coeditor. "She has plenty 0f nerve, and is as sharp as a steel trap," said T. Thomas Fortune, editor 0f the New York Age, a leading black newspaper.

    One 0f her closest friends was Thomas Moss, who owned a grocery store in Memphis with two other black men. A white businessman, angered by competition from the new store, had pressured town officials t0 close it down. When a scuffle broke out between black and white youths near the black-owned store, he and other white residents threatened t0 destroy it. After a group of white men marching toward the store at night were fired upon and at least one was wounded, police rounded up and jailed more than a hundred blacks. But Moss and his two partners were "carried a mile north of the city limits and horribly shot t0 death," Wells wrote in Free Speech. A local white newspaper reported Moss' last words: "Tell my people to g0 Westthere is no justice for them here."

    The murders devastated Wells, who was godmother to the Mosses' daughter. "The city of Memphis has demonstrated that neither character nor standing avails the Negro if he dares to protect himself against the white man or become his rival," she wrote in an editorial. Echoing Moss' last words, Wells and other black leaders encouraged black Memphians to leave the city, which, she said "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."


    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2002/Ida-B-Wells-Memphis1883.htm


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    the value and worth of this great sista fighting for the people rights is
    starting to be well known and respected thankz for the link and sharing
     
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