Ida B. Wells — A Chicago Stories Special, on WTTW Channel 11
May 21 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ida B. Wells was one of the greatest Americans who ever lived, and Channel 11 is having a Chicago Stories Special on her. It’s sure to be fascinating, essential viewing and essential history that should be far better known. Please watch this and get all your friends to join you.
Watch WTTW Channel 11 live here: https://interactive.wttw.com/wttw-live-stream
The program is airing four times:
Fri, May 21 at 8:00 pm
Sun, May 23 at 5:00 pm
Thu, May 27 at 9:00 pm
Sat, May 29 at 1:30 am
Born into slavery in 1862, orphaned at age 16, she became a pioneering Black journalist through her ownership of the Memphis Free Speech & Headlight Newspaper. In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States in articles and through her pamphlet called Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases, investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for Black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition—and a subsequent threat of loss of power—for whites. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in Black-owned newspapers.
Subjected to continued threats, Wells left Memphis for Chicago. She married Ferdinand L. Barnett in 1895 and had a family while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights and the women’s movement for the rest of her life. Wells was outspoken regarding her beliefs as a Black female activist and faced regular public disapproval, sometimes including from other leaders within the civil rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement. She was active in women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movement, establishing several notable women’s organizations. A skilled and persuasive speaker, Wells traveled nationally and internationally on lecture tours.