Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Wells-Barnett, Ida B. (1862–1931)

Wells-Barnett was a journalist, activist, and cofounder of the NAACP, who focused especially on lynching in the United States. She fought for civil rights her whole life, starting when she sued a railroad company (before Plessy v. Ferguson) after she was forcibly removed from the seat she refused to cede to a white passenger. She started writing, and in 1889 became a partner in the newspaper Free Speech and Headlight . She helped develop women’s and reform organizations in Chicago, working tirelessly for women’s suffrage. In 1906, she joined W. E. B. Du Bois’s Niagara Movement. She published two influential pamphlets in the early 1890s titled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases and The Red Record, examining lynching and racism in the southern United States.