Born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862, Ida B. Wells was a teacher, journalist and activist. A skilled writer, she used her pen to shed light on the violence suffered by Black Americans in the South. After the lynching of one of her friends, she began investigating cases of white mob violence, publishing her findings in a local newspaper.
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them,” she said.
In 1892, an article about a lynching in Memphis angered many locals and numerous death threats forced her to move north to Chicago. Her activism did not stop, however – she also angered white women suffragettes over their failure to speak out about lynching and the plight of the Black community. A founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club, she was also an early leader in the NAACP. Wells died in 1931. This past week, the city of Memphis installed a life-size statue outside of First Baptist Beale Street Church, where Wells had an office and wrote many of her articles.
This week, I invite you to think about a wrong that needs righting today. What can you do to turn on the light of truth?