Snapshot of a history maker: Ida B. Wells

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   Editor’s note: Teens & Twenties writer Logan A. White will feature African-American history makers throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month.

Commentary by Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent

   A powerhouse journalist, determined suffragist, and early civil rights activist, Ida B. Wells was a force to be reckoned with. Who was this influential lady? Here’s five fast facts about Ms. Wells and her impact on America.
   1. State Senate contender — in 1930, according to, Wells became the first African American woman to enter the Illinois senatorial election and run for public office in the United States.
   2. An early orphan — Wells lost her parents to a yellow fever epidemic at the age of 16. To support her five younger siblings, she acquired a position as a teacher at a local schoolhouse and continued teaching for the next ten years.
   3. All about business — by the time she was 33, Wells was the sole owner of the Chicago Conservator, the city’s first African American-owned newspaper. She’d also been the owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Highlight at age 25.
      4. Globetrotter — as part of her anti-lynching crusade in the 1890s, Wells traveled through Europe, making speeches in an attempt to raise awareness about the race divide. It worked — Europeans started to pay attention to the horrors of lynchings.
   5. Ahead of her times — Wells attended the first meeting of what would later become the NAACP. Although she later cut ties to the foundation, she is considered to be a founding member.
How will Ida B. Wells inspire you during Black History Month?

 Logan A. White is a home-schooled sophomore and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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