Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, Georgist and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She documented lynching in the United States, showing that it was often used as a way to control or punish blacks who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by blacks, as was usually claimed by white mobs. She was active in women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movement, establishing several notable women’s organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician and traveled internationally on lecture tours. She was born on July 16, 1862 and died on March 25, 1931.
Since Ida B. Wells is a hero of Canadian cartoonist Kate Beaton, there’s an excellent series of Hark! A Vagrant comics about Wells. Also, the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is working to develop a monument in Chicago to honor the life and times of Ida B. Wells. Lastly, in unrelated news, with this week’s flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons space probe, all I can think of is “Bring Back Pluto.”