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Southern horrors and other writings : the anti-lynching campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900 /

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❶The Crusade for Justice: The race must rally a mighty host to the support of their journals, and thus enable them to do much in the way of investigation.

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It's not apparent if the curiosities in spelling date back to the original or were introduced later; they have been retained as found, and the reader is left to decide. Please verify with another source before quoting this material. Since the appearance of that statement, requests have come from all parts of the country that "Exiled" the name under which it then appeared be issued in pamphlet form.

Some donations were made, but not enough for that purpose. The noble effort of the ladies of New York and Brooklyn Oct. This statement is not a shield for the despoiler of virtue, nor altogether a defense for the poor blind Afro-American Sampsons who suffer themselves to be betrayed by white Delilahs. It is a contribution to truth, an array of facts, the perusal of which it is hoped will stimulate this great American Republic to demand that justice be done though the heavens fall.

It is with no pleasure 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. The awful death-roll that Judge Lynch is calling every week is appalling, not only because of the lives it takes, the rank cruelty and outrage to the victims, but because of the prejudice it fosters and the stain it places against the good name of a weak race.

The Afro-American is not a bestial race. If this work can contribute in any way toward proving this, and at the same time arouse the conscience of the American people to a demand for justice to every citizen, and punishment by law for the lawless, I shall feel I have done my race a service. Other considerations are of minor importance. There has been no word equal to it in convincing power. I have spoken, but my word is feeble in comparison.

You give us what you know and testify from actual knowledge. You have dealt with the facts with cool, painstaking fidelity and left those naked and uncontradicted facts to speak for themselves. If American conscience were only half alive, if the American church and clergy were only half christianized, if American moral sensibility were not hardened by persistent infliction of outrage and crime against colored people, a scream of horror, shame and indignation would rise to Heaven wherever your pamphlet shall be read.

It sometimes seems we are deserted by earth and Heaven yet we must still think, speak and work, and trust in the power of a merciful God for final deliverance.

The same programme of hanging, then shooting bullets into the lifeless bodies was carried out to the letter. Nobody in this section of the country believes the old thread-bare lie that Negro men rape white women. If Southern white men are not careful, they will overreach themselves and public sentiment will have a reaction; a conclusion will then be reached which will be very damaging to the moral reputation of their women. Those negroes who are attempting to make the lynching of individuals of their race a means for arousing the worst passions of their kind are playing with a dangerous sentiment.

The negroes may as well understand that there is no mercy for the negro rapist and little patience with his defenders. A negro organ printed in this city, in a recent issue publishes the following atrocious paragraph: If Southern white men are not careful they will overreach themselves, and public sentiment will have a reaction; and a conclusion will be reached which will be very damaging to the moral reputation of their women. But we have had enough of it.

There are some things that the Southern white man will not tolerate, and the obscene intimations of the foregoing have brought the writer to the very outermost limit of public patience.

We hope we have said enough. 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. Acting upon this advice, the leading citizens met in the Cotton Exchange Building the same evening, and threats of lynching were freely indulged, not by the lawless element upon which the deviltry of the South is usually saddled--but by the leading business men, in their leading business centre.

The editorial in question was prompted by the many inhuman and fiendish lynchings of Afro-Americans which have recently taken place and was meant as a warning. Eight lynched in one week and five of them charged with rape! The thinking public will not easily believe freedom and education more brutalizing than slavery, and the world knows that the crime of rape was unknown during four years of civil war, when the white women of the South were at the mercy of the race which is all at once charged with being a bestial one.

Since my business has been destroyed and I am an exile from home because of that editorial, the issue has been forced, and as the writer of it I feel that the race and the public generally should have a statement of the facts as they exist. They will serve at the same time as a defense for the Afro-Americans Sampsons who suffer themselves to be betrayed by white Delilahs.

The whites of Montgomery, Ala. There was a time when such a thing was unheard of. There is a secret to this thing, and we greatly suspect it is the growing appreciation of white Juliets for colored Romeos. Duke, before leaving Montgomery, signed a card disclaiming any intention of slandering Southern white women. The miscegnation laws of the South only operate against the legitimate union of the races; they leave the white man free to seduce all the colored girls he can, but it is death to the colored man who yields to the force and advances of a similar attraction in white women.

White men lynch the offending Afro-American, not because he is a despoiler of virtue, but because he succumbs to the smiles of white women.

Underwood, the wife of a minister of Elyria, Ohio, accused an Afro-American of rape. She told her husband that during his absence in , stumping the State for the Prohibition Party, the man came to the kitchen door, forced his way in the house and insulted her. She tried to drive him out with a heavy poker, but he overpowered and chloroformed her, and when she revived her clothing was torn and she was in a horrible condition. She did not know the man but could identify him.

She pointed out William Offett, a married man, who was arrested and, being in Ohio, was granted a trial. The prisoner vehemently denied the charge of rape, but confessed he went to Mrs. Underwood's residence at her invitation and was criminally intimate with her at her request.

This availed him nothing against the sworn testimony of a ministers wife, a lady of the highest respectability. He was found guilty, and entered the penitentiary, December 14, , for fifteen years. Some time afterwards the woman's remorse led her to confess to her husband that the man was innocent.

These are her words: I met Offett at the Post Office. He was polite to me, and as I had several bundles in my arms he offered to carry them home for me, which he did. He had a strange fascination for me, and I invited him to call on me. He called, bringing chestnuts and candy for the children.

By this means we got them to leave us alone in the room. Then I sat on his lap. He made a proposal to me and I readily consented. Why I did so, I do not know, but that I did is true. He visited me several times after that and each time I was indiscreet. I did not care after the first time. In fact I could not have resisted, and had no desire to resist. When asked by her husband why she told him she had been outraged, she said: One was the neighbors saw the fellows here, another was, I was afraid I had contracted a loathsome disease, and still another was that I feared I might give birth to a Negro baby.

I hoped to save my reputation by telling you a deliberate lie. There are thousands of such cases throughout the South, with the difference that the Southern white men in insatiate fury wreak their vengeance without intervention of law upon the Afro-Americans who consort with their women. A few instances to substantiate the assertion that some white women love the company of the Afro-American will not be out of place. Most of these cases were reported by the daily papers of the South.

In the winter of the wife of a practicing physician in Memphis, in good social standing whose name has escaped me, left home, husband and children, and ran away with her black coachman. She was with him a month before her husband found and brought her home. The coachman could not be found. The doctor moved his family away from Memphis, and is living in another city under an assumed name.

In the same city last year a white girl in the dusk of evening screamed at the approach of some parties that a Negro had assaulted her on the street. He was captured, tried by a white judge and jury, that acquitted him of the charge. It is needless to add if there had been a scrap of evidence on which to convict him of so grave a charge he would have been convicted. Sarah Clark of Memphis loved a black man and lived openly with him. This she did to escape the penitentiary and continued her illicit relation undisturbed.

That she is of the lower class of whites, does not disturb the fact that she is a white woman. She has since joined him in Chicago. If Lillie Bailey, a rather pretty white girl seventeen years of age, who is now at the City Hospital, would be somewhat less reserved about her disgrace there would be some very nauseating details in the story of her life.

She is the mother of a little coon. The truth might reveal fearful depravity or it might reveal the evidence of a rank outrage. She will not divulge the name of the man who has left such black evidence of her disgrace, and, in fact, says it is a matter in which there can be no interest to the outside world. She came to Memphis nearly three months ago and was taken in at the Woman's Refuge in the southern part of the city.

She remained there until a few weeks ago, when the child was born. The ladies in charge of the Refuge were horified. The girl was at once sent to the City Hospital, where she has been since May She is a country girl.

She came to Memphis from her fathers farm, a short distance from Hernando, Miss. Just when she left there she would not say. In fact she says she came to Memphis from Arkansas, and says her home is in that State. She is rather good looking, has blue eyes, a low forehead and dark red hair. The ladies at the Woman's Refuge do not know anything about the girl further than what they learned when she was an inmate of the institution; and she would not tell much.

When the child was born an attempt was made to get the girl to reveal the name of the Negro who had disgraced her, she obstinately refused and it was impossible to elicit any information from her on the subject. But a Negro child and to withhold its father's name and thus prevent the killing of another Negro "rapist.

Stricklin, was found in a white woman's room in that city. Although she made no outcry of rape, he was jailed and would have been lynched, but the woman stated she bought curtains of him he was a furniture dealer and his business in her room that night was to put them up. A white woman's word was taken as absolutely in this case as when the cry of rape is made, and he was freed. What is true of Memphis is true of the entire South. The daily papers last year reported a farmer's wife in Alabama had given birth to a Negro child.

When the Negro farm hand who was plowing in the field heard it he took the mule from the plow and fled. Frank Weems of Chattanooga who was not lynched in May only because the prominent citizens became his body guard until the doors of the penitentiary closed on him, had letters in his pocket from the white woman in the case, making the appointment with him.

Edward Coy who was burned alive in Texarkana, January 1, , died protesting his innocence. The woman who was paraded as a victim of violence was of bad character; her husband was a drunkard and a gambler. She was publicly reported and generally known to have been criminally intimate with Coy for more than a year previous.

She was compelled by threats, if not by violence, to make the charge against the victim. When she came to apply the match Coy asked her if she would burn him after they had "been sweethearting" so long.

A large majority of the "superior" white men prominent in the affair are the reputed fathers of mulatto children. These are not pleasant facts, but they are illustrative of the vital phase of the so-called race question, which should properly be designated an earnest inquiry as to the best methods by which religion, science, law and political power may be employed to excuse injustice, barbarity and crime done to a people because of race and color.

There can be no possible belief that these people were inspired by any consuming zeal to vindicate God's law against miscegnationists of the most practical sort. The woman was a willing partner in the victim's guilt, and being of the "superior" race must naturally have been more guilty. She has a black coachman who was married, and had been in her employ several years. During this time she gave birth to a child whose color was remarked, but traced to some brunette ancestor, and one of the fashionable dames of the city was its godmother.

Marshall's social position was unquestioned, and wealth showered every dainty on this child which was idolized with its brothers and sisters by its white papa. In course of time another child appeared on the scene, but it was unmistakably dark. All were alarmed, and "rush of blood, strangulation" were the conjectures, but the doctor, when asked the cause, grimly told them it was a Negro child. There was a family conclave, the coachman heard of it and leaving his own family went West, and has never returned.

As soon as Mrs. Marshall was able to travel she was sent away in deep disgrace. Her husband died within the year of a broken heart. Ebenzer Fowler, the wealthiest colored man in Issaquena County, Miss. They charged him with writing a note to a white woman of the place, which they intercepted and which proved there was an intimacy existing between them.

Hundreds of such cases might be cited, but enough have been given to prove the assertion that there are white women in the South who love the Afro-American's company even as there are white men notorious for their preference for Afro-American women. There is hardly a town in the South which has not an instance of the kind which is well known, and hence the assertion is reiterated that "nobody in the South believes the old thread bare lie that negro men rape white women.

They know the men of the section of the country who refuse this are not so desirous of punishing rapists as they pretend. So say the pulpits, officials and newspapers of the South. But when the victim is a colored woman it is different.

Last winter in Baltimore, Md. They held her escort and outraged the girl. It was a deed dastardly enough to arouse Southern blood, which gives its horror of rape as excuse for lawlessness, but she was an Afro-American.

The case went to the courts, an Afro-American lawyer defended the men and they were acquitted. He was jailed for six months, discharged, and is now a detective in that city.

In the same city, last May, a white man outraged an Afro-American girl in a drug store. He was arrested, and released on bail at the trial. It was rumored that five hundred Afro-Americans had organized to lynch him.

Two hundred and fifty white citizens armed themselves with Winchesters and guarded him. A cannon was placed in front of his home, and the Buchanan Rifles State Militia ordered to the scene for his protection.

The Afro-American mob did not materialize. Only two weeks before Eph. A naked, bloody example of the blood-thirstiness of the nineteenth-century civilization of the Athens of the South! No cannon or military was called out in his defense.

He dared to visit a white woman. At the very moment these civilized whites were announcing their determination "to protect their wives and daughters," by murdering Grizzard, a white man was in the same jail for raping eight-year-old Maggie Reese, an Afro-American girl.

He was not harmed. The "honor" of grown women who were glad enough to be supported by the Grizzard boys and Ed Coy, as long as the liaison was not known, needed protection; they were white. The outrage upon helpless childhood needed no avenging in this case; she was black. A white man in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory, two months ago inflicted such injuries upon another Afro-American child that she died. He was not punished, but an attempt was made in the same town in the month of June to lynch an Afro-American who visited a white woman.

Dorr, who is the husband of Russell Hancock's widow, was arrested for attempted rape on Mattie Cole, a neighbors cook; he was only prevented from accomplishing his purpose, by the appearance of Mattie's employer. Dorr's friends say he was drunk and not responsible for his actions. The grand jury refused to indict him and he was discharged. From this exposition of the race issue in lynch law, the whole matter is explained by the well-known opposition growing out of slavery to the progress of the race.

This is crystalized in the oft-repeated slogan: Honest white men practically conceded the necessity of intelligence murdering ignorance to correct the mistake of the general government, and the race was left to the tender mercies of the solid South. Thoughtful Afro-Americans with the strong arm of the government withdrawn and with the hope to stop such wholesale massacres urged the race to sacrifice its political rights for sake of peace.

They honestly believed the race should fit itself for government, and when that should be done, the objection to race participation in politics would be removed. But the sacrifice did not remove the trouble, nor move the South to justice.

One by one the Southern States have legally? The race regardless of advancement is penned into filthy, stifling partitions cut off from smoking cars. All this while, although the political cause has been removed, the butcheries of black men at Barnwell, S. Not fifty of these were for political causes; the rest were for all manner of accusations from that of rape of white women, to the case of the boy Will Lewis who was hanged at Tullahoma, Tenn. Since then, not less than one hundred and fifty have been known to have met violent death at the hands of cruel bloodthirsty mobs during the past nine months.

To palliate this record which grows worse as the Afro-American becomes intelligent and excuse some of the most heinous crimes that ever stained the history of a country, the South is shielding itself behind the plausible screen of defending the honor of its women.

The girl herself maintained that her assailant was a white man. When that poor Afro-American was murdered, the whites excused their refusal of a trial on the ground that they wished to spare the white girl the mortification of having to testify in court.

This cry has had its effect. It has closed the heart, stifled the conscience, warped the judgment and hushed the voice of press and pulpit on the subject of lynch law throughout this "land of liberty. They do not see that by their tacit encouragement, their silent acquiescence, the black shadow of lawlessness in the form of lynch law is spreading its wings over the whole country. Men who, like Governor Tillman, start the ball of lynch law rolling for a certain crime, are powerless to stop it when drunken or criminal white toughs feel like hanging an Afro-American on any pretext.

Even to the better class of Afro-Americans the crime of rape is so revolting they have too often taken the white man's word and given lynch law neither the investigation nor condemnation it deserved. They forget that a concession of the right to lynch a man for a certain crime, not only concedes the right to lynch any person for any crime, but so frequently is the cry of rape now raised it is in a fair way to stamp us a race of rapists and desperadoes.

They have gone on hoping and believing that general education and financial strength would solve the difficulty, and are devoting their energies to the accumulation of both.

The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American. It has left the out-of-the-way places where ignorance prevails, has thrown off the mask and with this new cry stalks in broad daylight in large cities, the centers of civilization, and is encouraged by the "leading citizens" and the press. The lynching of three Negro scoundrels reported in our dispatches from Anniston, Ala.

The frequency of these lynchings calls attention to the frequency of the crimes which causes lynching. The "Southern barbarism" which deserves the serious attention of all people North and South, is the barbarism which preys upon weak and defenseless women.

Nothing but the most prompt, speedy and extreme punishment can hold in check the horrible and beastial propensities of the Negro race. There is a strange similarity about a number of cases of this character which have lately occurred. In each case the crime was deliberately planned and perpetrated by several Negroes.

They watched for an opportunity when the women were left without a protector. It was not a sudden yielding to a fit of passion, but the consummation of a devilish purpose which has been seeking and waiting for the opportunity. This feature of the crime not only makes it the most fiendishly brutal, but it adds to the terror of the situation in the thinly settled country communities. No man can leave his family at night without the dread that some roving Negro ruffian is watching and waiting for this opportunity.

The swift punishment which invariably follows these horrible crimes doubtless acts as a deterring effect upon the Negroes in that immediate neighborhood for a short time. But the lesson is not widely learned nor long remembered. Then such crimes, equally atrocious, have happened in quick succession, one in Tennessee, one in Arkansas, and one in Alabama. The facts of the crime appear to appeal more to the Negro's lustful imagination than the facts of the punishment do to his fears.

He sets aside all fear of death in any form when opportunity is found for the gratification of his bestial desires. There is small reason to hope for any change for the better. The commission of this crime grows more frequent every year. The generation of Negroes which have grown up since the war have lost in large measure the traditional and wholesome awe of the white race which kept the Negroes in subjection, even when their masters were in the army, and their families left unprotected except by the slaves themselves.

There is no longer a restraint upon the brute passion of the Negro. What is to be done? The crime of rape is always horrible, but the Southern man there is nothing which so fills the soul with horror, loathing and fury as the outraging of a white woman by a Negro. It is the race question in the ugliest, vilest, most dangerous aspect. The Negro as a political factor can be controlled. But neither laws nor lynchings can subdue his lusts. Sooner or later it will force a crisis.

We do not know in what form it will come. Aside from the violation of white women by Negroes, which is the outcropping of a bestial perversion of instinct, the chief cause of trouble between the races in the South is the Negro's lack of manners. In the state of slavery he learned politeness from association with white people, who took pains to teach him. Since the emancipation came and the tie of mutual interest and regard between master and servant was broken, the Negro has drifted away into a state which is neither freedom nor bondage.

Aug 26, Luke rated it really liked it Shelves: Tough historical documents - the first from is narrowly focused on bringing to light the regularity of mob violent murders without justice for reasons far from the claimed "honor of our white women". The second from expands this to a national southern-dominated, by fact review of the varieties of brutality and range of justifications or circumventions of justice given for these terrorizing deaths. The third from resonates most today, as with the others mostly commentary on newsp Tough historical documents - the first from is narrowly focused on bringing to light the regularity of mob violent murders without justice for reasons far from the claimed "honor of our white women".

The third from resonates most today, as with the others mostly commentary on newspaper reports, of one mob riot against random black individuals in New Orleans following the injury and subsequent deaths of police. Wells lays the presumptions and contortions to arrive at who is good and evil in these reports very bare, while blacks are killed for no reason and with no concern in the headlines of the days.

Aug 13, Stephanie rated it really liked it. It is unsurprising, yet still disappointing, the similarities to police shootings today. The essay introduction was a bit of a slog but Ms Wells writes clearly and effectively. Oct 26, Andrew rated it really liked it. Immediately after the Reconstruction era in the United States, during a time when African Americans were expected to be subservient and accept their lot in society, Ida B.

Wells led a campaign against the violence which was perpetrated against not just Black men but women and children as well. This book contains three of her papers which were released as pamphlets and newspaper articles: They also show Wells to be an accomplished investigator gathering the relevant information to support her claims. One can only be impressed with this woman and the campaign she led between and in not just highlighting the problem but proposing a solution. She was active in condemning Lynch Law and mob violence against Black people and showing it for what it was; part of the process of disfranchising African Americans.

By raising awareness not just in the United States but internationally, and through concerted attempts to organise communities there were significant reductions in these atrocities for a period of time. Nov 06, Chrissy rated it it was amazing. Assigned this for an African American history class; the first time I have done so.

I assigned the introduction and "A Red Record. Students talked about Wells' use of statistics and case studies as well as why she chose to provide difficult and often gruesome details. On their own, students also considered the broader context of turn of the century d Assigned this for an African American history class; the first time I have done so. On their own, students also considered the broader context of turn of the century discourses of "civilization.

Previously, I had only read excerpts from Wells' writing. As many of my students pointed out, A Red Record is not a pleasant read but it is certainly important in helping us to understand turn of the century race relations. In carefully crafted prose, Wells discusses the "supposed" causes of lynchings and argues that the reality was often quite different from the explanations provided by mainstream, white journalists. The introduction does a nice job of sketching out Wells' life and placing these writings in a broader context.

Aug 30, Okan Anuas rated it it was amazing. I was absolutely blown away by how brave, intelligent, and persuasive Ida B. Her anti-lynching pamphlets were bluntly truthful, logical, and fearless. The introduction by Jacqueline Royster was a must-read as well, giving context for Wells' editorials and explaining why her writings were and ARE so significant.

For anyone who would like a clear look into the lives of blacks at the turn of the century, or learn about a woman and movement that has been swept aside, this collection of I was absolutely blown away by how brave, intelligent, and persuasive Ida B.

For anyone who would like a clear look into the lives of blacks at the turn of the century, or learn about a woman and movement that has been swept aside, this collection of essays and pamphlets are for you. Sep 25, Morgan rated it liked it Shelves: I read the first half really closely, then recently skimmed through the last half. I'll have to reread it more thoroughly at a later date, but Ida B. Wells was an amazing woman who really risked her life--literally, at some times--to uncover these stories that need telling.

Lynching and the violence imposed upon African American citizens particularly during the century between the 13th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act is so disturbing.

However, we need to confront our collective past if we ev I read the first half really closely, then recently skimmed through the last half. However, we need to confront our collective past if we ever hope to come together and truly be a "united" nation.

Mar 05, Lillian rated it it was amazing. The big question my mind is why Ida b Wells is not a household word like Rosa Parks. Wells was an amazing, investigative, writer and worked hard to reveal and examine the awful plight and oppression of her people thru documenting and writing about lynchings in the Reconstruction era. Her name and work should part everyone's knowledge base.

This is a beyond depressing book to read. Aug 07, jewelthinks rated it liked it. Very important information contained in this book. Wells is the original SayHerName. She documented the victims of lynching to give voice and to document how their humanity was stolen by racist, irrational beliefs and alleged reasons are maddening. Reference book to have on hand Not light reading material.

This is by no means an easy book, but I would assume that anyone who would pick it up would be aware of that already. This book is an investigative and journalistic look at lynching, from back when lynch law was a common thing people were getting lynched, I mean burned alive, I mean hanged, I mean littered with bullets, and then pulled apart for souvenirs of this gruesome show, every other day.

Wells wrote about these true Southern Horrors with such cool-headedness, such deadpan delive This is by no means an easy book, but I would assume that anyone who would pick it up would be aware of that already. Wells wrote about these true Southern Horrors with such cool-headedness, such deadpan delivery, with her own commentary serving as a sharp edge of wit like a nail left on your seat.

She was threatened with lynching and castration, in the case of one sexist and confused lynch mob for this work, but she knew it was important. And she did something about it. I can't help but think that police brutality is the new lynch law. Murders being performed and no one being acquitted of them. Sadly, this work rings relevant even now. Three and a half. This tiny book took me a long time to read because of the real and very disturbing descriptions set forth by Wells in her crusades against lynching.

An educated, self-employed black woman when neither black folks nor women had a fair voice or opportunity, Ida Wells was unfortunately, but amazingly decades ahead of her time. Her fiery testimony and brazen knack for calling out non-supporters distinguished her writing. Her use of accounts in the mainstream media to Three and a half. Her use of accounts in the mainstream media to argue for the illegality and immorality of lynch mobs was something factual that Europeans and, eventually, Americans, finally, could not ignore.

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Full text of "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases" See other formats The Project Gutenberg EBook of Southern Horrors, by Ida B. Wells-Barnett This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. Southern Horrors and Other Writings essaysWhat is mob violence? Well, nowadays, mob violence differs in comparison to mob violence in the nineteenth century. In the years following the Civil War, there was a lot of mistreatment of African Americans. Ida B. Wells, a young African American journal.

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Southern horrors and other writings: the anti-lynching campaign of Ida B. Wells, /. Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, / Edition 2 Ida B. Wells was an African American woman who achieved national and international fame as a journalist, public speaker, and community activist at the turn of the twentieth $