Ida B. Wells-Barnett
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Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (1862 - 1931)

Ida Bell (Ida B.) Wells-Barnett
Born in Holly Springs, Marshall County, Mississippi, United Statesmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 27 Jun 1895 in Cook County, Illinois, USAmap
Died in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 19 Oct 2009 | Last significant change: 9 May 2020
00:37: Sarah (Backhouse) Dunn edited the Biography for Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (1862-1931). (Added link to posthumously-awarded Pulitzer Prize.) [Thank Sarah for this]
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Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a part of the Suffragists Movement.
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Ida B. Wells-Barnett is Notable.


Ida B. Wells is known as an African-American newspaperwoman, civil rights heroine, and suffragist.


  • Marriage record: "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 March 2018), Ferdinand L. Barnett and Ida B. Wells, 27 Jun 1895; citing Cook County, Illinois, , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,252.
  • "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), Ida Wells in household of James Wells, Mississippi, United States; citing p. 7, family 46, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,239.
  • "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 August 2017), Ida M Wells, Holly Springs, Marshall, Mississippi, United States; citing enumeration district ED 110, sheet 354D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0657; FHL microfilm 1,254,657.
  • "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 June 2019), Ida Barnett in household of Ferdinand L Barnett, Precinct 25 South Town Chicago city Ward 5, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 132, sheet 7B, family 172, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,249.
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 07 June 2019), memorial page for Ida Bell Wells (16 Jul 1862–25 Mar 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7862236, citing Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
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Ida B. Wells was a role model for all African Americans. She was a woman of integrity who fought to get women everywhere rights.

As a child Ida was born into a slave family. She was one of eight children until yellow fever swept the land and killed her mother, father, and one of her brothers. Ida was only sixteen at the time but she fought to keep her family together. Even though her parents died she still went to school. She graduated high school and proceeded to go to Fisk university in Memphis. After collage she started working as a teacher in Memphis until she wrote an article that criticized the board of education.

After she got fired she started working for a small news paper, writing articles about lynching. She found out that 728 black men and women got lynched for minor offenses. between then and the time she got married she wrote many articles, papers, and even a book about lynching an civil rights. She did get married to Ferdinand Barnett in 1889. They had four children named Ida, Charles, Alfreda, and Herman.

After she had married Ferdinand she worked at his newspaper company. She also joined the NAACP who was fighting the KKK. She was only one of two females to ever join the NAACP. By 1910 her and her husband started the negro fellowship league in Chicago. This program was created to improve the lives of African American men. In 1913 she started a black kinder garden. Ida also tried running for state senator in 1930 but lost. In 1931 Ida B. Wells-Barnett died after a long and fruitful life, full of change for the better.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was in inspirational activist that helped change the way this nation thought. She brought out the facts of lynching to the public and lead woman's suffrage groups. Even though she was born a slave she was a hero to thousands, and a role model for the future.

posted 30 Oct 2009 by chris McGinn
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