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Ida B Wells paper

Ida B Wells paper

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Published by: patrick9889 on Apr 10, 2011
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Patrick Beane AMH2020 February 7, 2011 The Uncomfortable Truth of the United States¶ Past Ida B.

Wells was one of the lucky few black women to receive an education when she was growing up. Even luckier for society, she decided to put it to use. Ida was unhappy with the unjust lynchings and overall discrimination and lies that the black community had to face on a daily basis. Instead of complaining about being treated unfairly, she decided to do something about it. Ida began writing articles about the real truth behind the lynchings that occurred, ingeniously sighting her sources from white newspapers so that her writings could not be disputed. Her writings among other things were the kindle to the fire of civil rights for all in present day America. When Ida B. Wells first started writing her articles, the majority of the population, not just whites but blacks as well, knew lynching was an occurrence that happened in the south. It was to the extent and the frequency of these occurrences that people were ignorant to. At the time, the only source the country had for learning about news was through various periodicals, the majority of which were run by white people. These periodicals were likely to be biased towards the white man¶s innocence, while the black man, lynched for any crime he was accused of, was guilty beyond a doubt. Anyone that knew the truth of these lynchings was too afraid to write about them. Ida was one of the first people to start writing about these injustices and continued on, even though her own life was threatened. Her writings are highly important


2 . She speaks frequently of how the papers leave out the whole truth or blur it to make the unfair treatment of blacks seem more acceptable. The purpose of all of Ida B. She is most descriptive of the brutalities of lynching in these particular writings to sway the audience towards the idea that lynching is actually a detriment to the American Justice System. A second audience spoken to through A Red Record is the white people that realize lynching is going on and tolerate it as if it were a part of the necessary and natural order of society. ³When the Christian world knows the alarming growth and extent of outlawry in our land. 157). Wells¶ writings is to inform the public of the unjust lynchings and other horrors going on in the late 1800s. That lynching was an uncomfortable yet necessary act for there to be civility and peace in the United States. One audience Wells writes to is the readers of white newspapers. the majority of Americans are still left in the dark when it comes to the truth of lynchings. Her writings are purposely vivid and descriptive in what exactly happened to the persecuted because she was trying to make her point and agenda as clear as could be. that it was ³against American Values´(pg. Ida felt that the reason lynchings occurred was because the American people thought that it was just another way of punishing criminals. rather an abomination to the American justice system.because in this current day.27). some means will be found to stop it´(pg. She wanted to let people know that it was most definitely not an excusable punishment. She encourages people to seek out the truth and not just to rely on the white newspapers for the whole truth.

122). That quote enough should suffice as evidence that punishments to blacks in the late 1800s were nothing more than a complete farce in the face of the American justice system. The question of whether or not Ida B. Wells¶ reasoning for why lynchings occurred can be summed up into one word: fear.160). but even this claim had not been 3 . These sometimes random or far-fetched accusations were used to ³terrorize. ³The press dispatches of February 18. told in detail how he was tied to a tree.The articles in Mob Rule in New Orleans are trying to draw in the focus of those who are interested in the anti-lynch cause. can do so by ordering copies«´(pg.000 persons saw him burn to death´ (pg. What is not mentioned in that quote is how the article goes on to explain how the white woman and the victim. and control African Americans´(pg. The white people of the time whether knowing this was the reason they were doing it. White people feared that the newly freed black population would try and take over what was thought of as ³White America´. and after coal oil was poured over him. the woman he had assaulted gladly set fire to him. were afraid of the potential progress blacks had and they wanted to stop it no matter what. Ida even says that she wants many people interested in fighting lynch rule to get involved and help spread the word to others who may be interested. 1892. a man named Coy. ³Those who would like to assist in the work of disseminating these facts. It was by the threats of violence from important white men in the community as well as any other party against the act to charge him with the crime. ³It was claimed that they had been stealing hogs. So many of the lynchings that Ida wrote of showed that the black man was charged with a crime he did not commit and punished for it regardless. and 15. the flesh cut from his body by men and boys. Wells¶ articles are effective is redundant. or albeit a subconscious endeavor. oppress. had been ³sweethearting´ for more than a year.32).

the head of the household is hanged and even though the others are proven innocent of something they had no responsibility for. Reading about how all that was needed to get a black man lynched was to simply say that he was lying with a white woman. Word Count: 1. On page 111 of the Southern Horrors and Other Writings there is a writing talking of how a black family was suspected of poisoning a well.245 4 . That matter was not considered necessary´ (pg.106). never providing the truth as well as Ida B. the final sentence of the quote matters. they were still persecuted by unhappy whites. stark truth. The unfair treatment of black people in the late 1800s had become such a hackneyed subject.subjected to the investigation of a court. Ida B. Wells¶ has done. was a shocking wake up to the cold. That these times were so primitive and barbaric in rational and thought. enough to downgrade the status of human life to object simply based on the tone of one¶s skin. That one sentence is the general theme of the majority of lynchings that took place. Wells¶ articles and writings are a cornerstone in the foundation of our knowledge of what really went on during the time of lynching. The context of the story is unimportant. With no proof at all. having to read a book on it seemed unattractive. Grade school teachers could and would go on for weeks when dealing with the subject of unfair treatment of race in that era. Ida¶s mentioning of the lack of any consideration for one man¶s right to a trial only adds to the effectiveness of her writings. The writings are vividly graphic and hold back no truth to the reader and at the time opening the eyes of the American citizens for the first time.

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