• Michelle Smith

Amazing Melanated Mommies: 24

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

While African American history is too extraordinary to be summed up in a year, let alone a month, we will be celebrating phenomenal women who changed the world as we see it now all while raising children. If they can do it, so can we. Lets do it!!!

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War. At the age of 16, she lost both her parents and her infant brother in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She went to work and kept the rest of the family intact with the help of her grandmother. Wells moved with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, where she found better pay as a teacher. Soon she co-owned a newspaper, the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight. In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States, investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans, who created economic and political competition and a subsequent threat of loss of power for whites. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses, as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in black-owned newspapers. Despite many more threats and obstacles, Wells dedicated her life to exposing the injustices that African Americans were plagued with. She managed many feats and victories in her fight while also serving as a wife and mother of 6 (4 biological) children. Ida B. Wells arguably became the most famous black woman in America, during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence. Salute!

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