Friday, July 16, 2010

Black History Fact Of The Day

Today is Ida B. Wells' Birthday. Wikipedia says his about her legacy: "On May 4, 1884, a Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company train conductor ordered Wells to give up her seat on the train and move to the smoking car, which was already crowded with other passengers. At the time, the Supreme Court had just struck down, in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875, which banned racial discrimination in public accommodations. Several railroad companies were able to continue legal racial segregation of their passengers.

Wells protested and refused to give up her seat 71 years before Rosa Parks. The conductor and two other men dragged Wells out of the car. When she returned to Memphis, she immediately hired an African American attorney to sue the railroad. Wells became a public figure in Memphis when she wrote a newspaper article, for "The Living Way," a black church weekly, about her treatment on the train."

Ida B. Wells was a schoolteacher, writer, and activist. She vociferously spoke out against lynchings and other injustices.

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