Tomás Quintero: Unit 4 Assignment 1


Mary Church Terrell:

  • B: September 23, 1863 in Memphis Tennessee, D: July 24, 1954
  • African American Activist for racial equality and women’s suffrage in the 1800’s and 1900’s
  • Daughter of former slaves who became successful business owners
  • Was from the black middle and upper class and attended Antioch College laboratory school in Ohio and then Oberlin College
  • Believed in the importance of education: 
    • Taught at Wilberforce College (HBCU)
    • Taught at M Street Academy a highschool for people of color in DC
  • Married Heberton Terrell, in 1891, who was also a teacher
    • Had a daughter and adopted another
  • Activism sparked in 1892
    • After the Lynching of Thomas Moss in Memphis––Anti-black violence
      • Due to his business competing with a white business
    • Joined Ida B. Wells in her efforts
    • Helped create the National Association of Colored Women (NACW––1896)
      • President of the Association from 1896-1901
    • Actively campaigned to elevate the status of black women
      • “The only group inthis country that has two such huge obstacles to surmount…both sex and race.”
    • Became one of the founders of the NAACP in 1906
    • Became one of the Charter members of the National Association of University Women in 1910
    • In 1953, she challenged segregation in public places by protesting the John R. Thompson Restaurant in Washington, DC and won
  • There seems to be no religious background but it shows that she values education and she came from a high social class

Ida B. Wells:

  • B: July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs MS, D: March 25, 1931
  • African-American investigative journalist, educator, and a key player early on in the CRM
  • Born into slavery with politically active parents during the Reconstruction Era (1863-1867)
  • Attended Fisk University, Rust College, and Lemoyne-Owen College––believes very strongly in an education
  • Became an educator follow the death of a brother
  • Became involved in activism
    • Joined the fight against lynching after the death of a friend––became a journalist and fought white mob violence
      • Confronted white women involved in the suffrage movement about lynching
      • Traveled internationally
    • Founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club (1896)
    • Was “unofficially” involved as a founding member of the NAACP
  • Parents were very religious––instilling racial consciousness
    • Civil rights and justice are not just social, political, and economic, but christian tenets
    • Religious beliefs stemmed from parables that denied black rights and promoted the lynching of black men


Both of these women point out that the origin of violence stem from hatred and fear. With Wells, we see that her focus is more on the corporeal forms of violence which arise from lynching while Terrell shows us that there is violence in civil discrimination, as seen with social barriers. Both Wells and Terrell target women, particularly those that are involved in the suffragist movement since they believe in the value of education and in the power of the ballot box. By doing so, both of these people are capable of expressing themselves, therefore, uplifting the position of black people in the United States in order to counteract anti-black violence. By engaging in these actions, I would say that this is a response and a step to the greater solution to anti-black violence in the United States. 

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