Ida B. Wells-Barnett

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.

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