Inspirational Stories of Women

Who Made a Difference!

February 28, 2006


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      Welcome to History's Women!

Today's biography is about Ida Wells-Barnett, an amazing woman whose parents were slaves.  While she suffered at the hands of discrimination, she rose to the defense of others and became a force to be reckoned with in the field of journalism.

Remember to check out the Black History Month links at the end of this ezine.

Today's Featured Book is written by author and speaker Lois sure to check it out!

Enjoy the issue! 


If you have trouble reading this issue, you can view it online.



"One had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap."

                                        ~Ida Wells-Barnett


Ida Wells-Barnett
Anti-Lynching Crusader


Ida Wells-Barnett was an African-American educator, journalist, and a fearless activist
who led an anti-lynching crusade in the 1890s. Born in 1862, Ida Wells was the daughter of slaves, growing up in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Her parents were freed from slavery shortly after her birth and the family was supported by the wages her parents brought in. Her mother was a "famous" cook in the area and her father was a skilled carpenter.

When Ida was only fourteen-years-old, tragedy struck. An epidemic of Yellow Fever swept through Holly Springs taking the life of her parents and youngest sibling. Rising to the occasion, Ida kept the rest of the family together by securing a teaching position. In order to further her education, she attended near-by Rust College, eventually moved to Memphis, Tennessee to live with her aunt and help raise her younger sisters.

Ida's fight for racial and gender justice began in 1884 while she was traveling to a school in Memphis. While on the train, Ida was asked by the conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man. She was ordered to take a seat in the smoking or "Jim Crow" car, which was already full of passengers. She refused and when he grabbed her wrist to move her, she bit him. The conductor then went forward and got two other men to help him, and together they dragged her out of the train, to the applause of the all-white passengers in the parlor car in which she was seated.

When she returned to Memphis, she immediately secured an attorney and sued the railroad. She won her case, initially, but when the railroad company appealed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee, it reversed the decision of the lower court. This was the first of Ida's many struggles to overturn injustices in America against women and minorities.

Soon after the incident with the Memphis railroad, Ida took up the pen. Her teaching
career ended after she penned a series of articles that denounced the inadequate education
provided to Black children. A short time later Ida became part owner of the Memphis Star newspaper where she used her writing to launch searing attacks against the practice of lynching.

In 1892, three of Ida's good friends were lynched. The three men, Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Stewart were owners of People's Grocery Company and their small grocery business had competed with white businesses. A group of angry white men attacked the People's Grocery, hoping to "eliminate" this competition, but the three owners fought back, shooting one of the attackers. The owners of the People's Grocery were arrested, but a lynch mob broke into the jail and dragged the three men away from the town and murdered them. This incensed Ida and she wrote a scathing article calling for justice. As a result of her investigative journalism and exposing injustice, her newspaper office was destroyed and Ida moved to Chicago.

Her move to Chicago did not silence Ida. Here she continued her blistering attacks on Southern injustices, being especially active in exposing unjust lynching of Black men, which were common in the South. Ida helped to found numerous African American women and reform groups as well and was active in the cause of women's suffrage. She also worked along side Jane Addams to successfully block the establishment of segregated schools in Chicago.

In 1895 Ida married F.L. Barnett, the editor of the Chicago Conservator. Though her intent was to retire from public life to the privacy of her home, she did not remain retired for long. Ida continued writing and organizing minority groups. In fact, she became one of two African American women to sign "the call" to form the NAACP in 1909 and single-handedly founded the first Black woman suffrage organization, the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago.

Ida Wells-Barnett the fearless and well-respected fighter for the rights of all mankind died in Chicago, Illinois in 1931 at the age of sixty-nine.


Seasons of a Woman's Life
By Lois Evans

A woman's identity can become distorted by the many pressures she faces and the needs she uniquely fills. The frantic pace of life leaves many asking, "Will it always be like this?" Lois Evans answers reassuringly, "No." In Seasons of a Woman's Life, Mrs. Evans walks women through the many different seasons of life, encouraging them to hold fast to the promises of God. Through examples of her own life and the life of others, she challenges each woman to discover God's purpose for her life.  In these pages you will find helpful principles and encouraging promises from God's Word.

I admire the work that Lois Evans does, in both writing and speaking and this book is a good example of the way she speaks to the heart of women today.  Get a copy today!

Table of Contents:


1. The Call  

2. The Commitment

3. Christian Communion 


4. Obedience       

5. Service    

6. Preparation       


7. Contentment, Not Complacency       

8. For Such a Time As This

9. Fulfillment       

You can purchase this book for $10.99 with FREE Shipping by clicking here.


Women in African American History

The Women's Hall of Fame

Ida Wells-Barnett

Phillis Wheatly

Coretta Scott King

Rosa Parks

History's Women Newsletter is for informational purposes only.  Patricia Chadwick in no event is to be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with the use of this information or its publication, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation.

History's Women is part of a family of ezines. All are opt-in and sponsor supported. For information on how your business could benefit from sponsorship send an email to: with "HW Sponsor" as the subject and we'll provide the details.

History's Women is a free weekly newsletter for those interested in inspirational stories of women who made a difference in their world. The content of this newsletter is copyrighted by Patricia Chadwick (c)2006 unless indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide.  Reprint only with permission from copyright holder(s).

Permission is granted to distribute the contents of this newsletter for personal use as long as credit is given with a link to our page at and the entire newsletter is included.  Most articles are available for free reprint in your newsletter. Email for details.

 Patricia Chadwick

Founder & Publisher

History's Women
A magazine highlighting the extraordinary

achievements of women throughout history.

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