Unit 4 Assignment 1-Natalie Zhu (17th Nov)

Terrell:

Born on 23 September, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Daughter of small-business owners who were former slaves.

One of the first African-American women to earn a college degree in 1884.

The first president of the National Association of Coloured Women and a charter member of the NAACP.

An early advocate for civil rights and the suffrage movement.

Source: https://www.biography.com/activist/mary-church-terrell

Wells:

Born on 16 July, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Her family was decreed free by the Union about six months after her birth.

An African American journalist, abolitionist and feminist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. 

Co-founder of National Association of Coloured Women in 1896.

Battled sexism, racism, and violence. 

Source: https://www.biography.com/activist/ida-b-wells

Thoughts:

Terrell talks about how a coloured person, especially a coloured woman, can be unequally treated and even excluded from white people in the U.S. capital, Washington D.C. She uses examples of how a coloured person cannot sit in the restaurants, cannot find a place to stay, or cannot go into the theatres. She focuses more on the effect of separation and exclusion caused by the Jim Crow Laws. Wells, at the same time, talks about the brutal violence of lynching targeted at coloured people. She describes the increasing brutality during the years, and how a single word from a white woman can sentence a coloured man to death and torture. She focuses more on the cruelty of the torture and violence of lynching. Both of the two violence are directly caused by the hatred towards black people during the post slavery era. 

Both of them talk about women in their essays. Terrell describes how a coloured woman face separation, exclusion, and loneliness in D.C., while Wells writes that a single word from a white woman can lead to brutal torture. This drastic contrast effectively reflects racial inequality and discrimination toward coloured people. 

Leave a Reply