Sunday, February 2, 2020

Overheard at Booth 1: Ida B Wells

Otis Redwing says about Ida B Wells,  "Ida B Wells should be THE hero of the Civil Rights Movement.  I'm not talking about ONE of the Civil Rights Heroes, I'm talking THE Civil Rights Heroes.   Born a slave, she grew up in Mississippi, the hardest state for black folk, then as now.  She saw repeatedly how lynching was used to keep Black people oppressed.  She stood up and took on the notion that lynching was just a way to 'mete out justice' as some people tried to whitewash it.  She told it for what it was: white people hating the fact that black people were more successful at business than they were.  They even wanted to lynch HER!

"Also, she should be THE hero of journalism, because it was HER essays and reporting that brought out this horror, it was HER reporting that held the authorities and the law to account, when other journalists were either part of the oppression, or otherwise didn't want to tackle the issue.

"She was brave, bold, brash, unrepentant, unstoppable.  She was a force to be reckoned with.   She was five feet tall but she towered over all men.  She was pure righteous fury.   I doubt there has been another like her since, even though yes, many have been inspired by her, but the fact that she is not as celebrated as she should be, for all her accomplishments, is just a damn shame."

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