Ida B. Wells

Faith McCants

Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862. Numerous sources incorrectly list her birthplace as Holly Springs, Missouri, however. Born a slave along with her parents near the end of the Civil War, her father was a carpenter and her mother was a famous cook. She was the oldest of four boys and four girls. She received her education at Rust College, a freemen's high school and industrial school. In 1887 yellow fever left her and her sisters and brothers without their parents, and she managed with her father's savings to support their family.Ida B. Wells has been described as a crusader for justice, and as a defender of democracy. Wells was characterized as a militant and uncompromising leader for her efforts to abolish lynching and establish racial equality. Wells challenged segregation decades before Rosa Parks, ran for Congress and attended suffrage meetings with the likes of Susan B. Anthony and Jane Addams, yet most of her efforts are largely unknown due to the fact that she is African American and female.