A train ride in 1884 turned out to be a turning point in the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) and the beginning of a journey which would last the rest of her life. Though she bought a first-class ticket, she was forcibly moved to the car for African Americans. Wells-Barnett sued the railroad and won. She then shifted from her first vocation as a teacher to the field of investigative journalism, writing for newspapers and magazines and aiming her attention on the issue of race and politics. When a friend was murdered by a lynch mob, she became the most prominent anti-lynching crusader in the country. Wells-Barnett helped form several civil rights organizations including the National Association of Colored Women and the NAACP. She was also active in the women’s suffrage movement.
In 2020, Wells-Barnett was given a Pulitzer Prize "for her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.”
Why this stop? It’s just a 15 minute walk from the home where Ida B. Wells Barnett lived with her husband to the Green Line 35th Street/Bronzeville/IIT stop.
Learn about Ida B. Wells-Barnett in this program made by Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW.
Get involved—Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (Chicago ROAR) helps organizations dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism and transform their institutional cultures. Something for your workplace or school to check into?