Unit 4 Assignment 1 Elizabeth Vair

Mary Church Terrell

Ida B Wells

  • Born into slavery in Mississippi 
  • Parents became politically active in the Reconstruction Era  
  • Took a job as an educator after her parents and infant brother died of yellow fever 
  • When one of her friends was lynched, she began to investigate the reasons behind white mob violence 
  • Joined the boycott of the World’s Columbian Exposition for their lack of representation
  • Travelled internationally to shed light on lynching and confronted white women in the suffrage movement who ignored lynching 
  • Founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Club and was a founding member of the NAACP but is not credited
    • https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/ida-b-wells-barnett
  • Led by her religious beliefs which were grounded in Christian ideals 

Based on both women’s comments, the common roots for these expressions of violence are fear and hatred. Terrell talks about violence in the form of discrimination from jobs, while Wells focuses on more physical violence such as lynchings. Both these kinds of violence can stem from the fear of change that the white population had to face post-slavery. With this, hatred also came for the black population as whites avoided the realities of what they had done, and instead chose to oppress the others as much as they could to avoid changing the racial dynamics they had grown accustomed to. Women are the focus of both Terrell and Wells as they believe that women’s suffrage and education can help counter anti-black violence by raising their race as a whole. This is both a response and a solution. It is a response to the immediate problem, however, it can be seen as a long term solution that will not show its impact until several generations later. 

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