BHM 2017 - Ida B. Wells

It is a special time here at Lynnfield. The new year is well underway, new projects are in the works, and we are steadily growing. Black History Month is a time for reflecting upon and celebrating the legacies of our families as well as well-known Black people across the Diaspora.

With everything happening in our world right now, I wanted to highlight the work of Ida B. Wells this month. She is the woman featured on our "Happy Black History Month" ad. Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) is probably most known for her work as a journalist and newspaper editor, but she was active in many arenas. She was a feminist, suffragist, and civil rights activist who help establish the NAACP in 1909. In 1884, she refused to give up her seat on a train, which resulted in a highly publicized court case. This event, along with many others, inspired her career as an investigative journalist. Her work was crucial in documenting lynchings in the United States.

I encourage you to read about her. Two great places to start are Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings and To Tell the Truth Freely by Mia Bay. You will also want to check out two of Wells' best-known works, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases and The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States. Ida B. Wells reminds us of the importance of truth-telling, journalistic integrity, and the power of information.

Happy Black History Month! As always, if you have any questions about your own history-related projects, genealogy or otherwise, contact us!

Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her four children.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her four children.