Ida B. Wells, Owner & Editor

Title

Ida B. Wells, Owner & Editor

Description

Ida B Wells didn’t love being a teacher, but as she built an adult life in Memphis, she began working as a reporter. Realizing that owning & editing her own paper was the only way to make a living as a journalist, Wells invested in The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight. Thread.

Her new career ended her old one: after protesting in print the “few and utterly inadequate buildings” for Black students in Memphis schools, as well as corruption on the school board, Wells' teaching contract was not renewed. She had found her calling.

9Ida B Wells' paper Free Speech was in demand in rural towns, where often 1 person would read it aloud in public. When the owners learned that vendors were cheating illiterate buyers by selling them the wrong paper, they started printing Free Speech on distinctive pink paper.

What made Ida B Wells so fearless? Mia Bay’s biography, "To Tell the Truth Freely," argues that growing up at the peak of Reconstruction, with politically active parents, gave Ida a precious taste of a world in which Black people had power.

Hear Bay & @nhannahjones on @LewisPants podcast about Ida B Wells' legacy of activist journalism.No image today. As @TennHistory explains: “No copy of the Free Speech survives. As with the other 25 black-owned newspapers of the era, no library or archive has preserved copies." All we have are partial reprints in other papers.

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

22/11/2019

Files

-1- Daily Suffragist on Twitter- -Ida B Wells didn’t love being a teacher- but as she built an adult life in Memphis- she began working as a reporter- Realizing that owning -amp- editing her own paper was the only way to make a living as .png

Citation

Daily Suffragist, “Ida B. Wells, Owner & Editor,” Daily Suffragist, accessed October 19, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/164.

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