Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ida B Wells  

Pen Name: Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Ida Wells, Ida Wells-Barnett, Ida Bell Wells, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi

-- Ida B Wells on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Wells moved to Chicago in 1892 and lived there the rest of her life.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ida B. Wells was a journalist, newspaper editor and, with her husband, newspaper owner Ferdinand L. Barnett, an early leader in the civil rights movement. Her career began as a school teacher, and she was offered a position on the editorial staff of the Evening Star. Wells spent the last thirty years of her life in Chicago raising her family and working on urban reform to improve conditions for its rapidly growing African-American population. She established several civil rights organizations. She established several civil rights organizations. In 1896, she formed the National Association of Colored Women and is considered a founding member of the NAACP which formed after brutal assaults on the African-American community in Springfield, Illinois, in 1908. After her retirement, Wells started writing her autobiography, ''Crusade for Justice''. She never finished it; the book ends in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a word. Wells died of kidney failure in Chicago on March 25, 1931, at the age of sixty-eight.

Published Works

  • Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases, 1892 - reprinted by Loki's Publishing, 2014
  • The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World's Columbian Exposition—the Afro-American’s Contribution to Columbian Literature, 1893 - written with Frederick Douglass, I. Garland Pen
  • A Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynchings in the United States, 1892-1893-1894, 1895
  • Mob Rule in New Orleans, 1900 - reprinted by Qontro Classic Books, 2010
  • Crusade for Justice The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells , University of Chicago Press, 1970 - reprinted in 1991
  • Selected Works of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Oxford University Press, 1991
  • The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells: An Intimate Portrait of the Activist as a Young Woman, Beacon Press, 1995
  • Southern Horrors and Other Writings; The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900, Bedford, St. Martin's, 1996
  • The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader, Penguin Classics, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

The reason why the colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition :
ISBN: 0252067843. OCLC Number:

University of Illinois Press,. Urbana :. ©1999.

Crusade for justice :
ISBN: 0226893448. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. [1970]

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was one of the foremost crusaders against black oppression. This engaging memoir tells of her private life as mother of a growing family as well as her public activities as teacher, lecturer, and journalist in her fight against attitudes and laws oppressing blacks.

Southern horrors and other writings :
ISBN: 0312116950. OCLC Number:

. .

"This brief volume introduces readers to the prominent reformer and journalist Ida B. Wells and her late-nineteenth-century crusade to abolish lynching. Built around three crucial documents - Well's pamphlet Southern Horrors (1892), her essay A Red Record (1895), and her case study Mob Rule in New Orleans (1900) - the volume shows how Wells defined lynching for an international audience as an issue deserving public concern and action. The editor's introduction places lynching in its historical context and provides important background information on Well's life and career. Also included are illustrations, a chronology, questions for consideration, a bibliography, and an index."--Jacket.

The light of truth :
ISBN: 0143106821. OCLC Number:

. .

"The broadest and most comprehensive collection of writings available by an early civil and women's rights pioneer . Seventy-one years before Rosa Parks's courageous act of resistance, police dragged a young Black journalist named Ida B. Wells off a train for refusing to give up her seat. The experience shaped Wells's career, and--when hate crimes touched her life personally--she mounted what was to become her life's work: an anti-lynching crusade that captured international attention. This volume covers the entire scope of Wells's remarkable career, collecting her early writings, articles exposing the horrors of lynching, essays from her travels abroad, and her later journalism. The Light of Truth is both an invaluable resource for study and a testament to Wells' long career as a civil rights activist"--