Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ida B. Wells: American Hero

Ida B. Wells Barnett, 1862-1931
As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1862 events of the Civil War, including President Abraham Lincoln's first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, let us also reflect and honor those great Americans whose struggle and sacrifice should not be forgotten. 

About a year ago, in response to some ridiculous hyperbole from local demagogues who called the desire (on the part of some council members) to have our mayor held accountable to the people of this city a figurative "lynching" (see here and here), I reproduced the text of Ida B. Wells's "This Awful Slaughter," a part of her ongoing attempt to document the horrific extra-judicial violence that was being waged by lynch mobs against African Americans in the early 20th century. 

While reading through her"...dark catalog of this nation's sins" (to borrow Henry Highland Garnet's phrase) in preparation for class this week, I wanted to note that this is the sesquicentennial of Wells's birth, and she should be honored and recognized as an American hero. 



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