Unit 4 Post 1 Rachel Gronberg

Both Terrell and Wells were born in the early 1860s and become successful women in their fields and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement despite the oppressive Jim Crow laws of the time.

Terrell was born to two freed slaves who became among the richest black people in the south at that time. She studied at Oberlin college, where instead of following a “ladies” curriculum she studies more vigorous “mens” subjects, and then worked in the Civil Rights Movement and the Suffragette Movement. It is clear that her parents were more conservative religiously than she was.

Wells was born into slavery and was emancipated with them during the emancipation proclamation, but her parents and brother died a few years later of yellow fever. Wells went to college and was a very skilled writer, and became a cofounder of the NAACP (though not formally recognized as such).

Though it is hard to find a clear religious affiliation of either woman, we can see some differences in their rhetoric that align with their childhoods. Terrell grew up with a father as a millionaire, and her rhetoric is mostly about the job opportunities that black women are prevented from getting due to racial prejudice. Wells focuses instead of the systematic horrors of lynching, which she could be more determined to write about because she was born into slavery. I will not say that the difference in these women’s childhoods is why they focused on different issues within the Civil Rights Movement, but it is interesting to consider their differences in studying these great leaders of the movement.

Leave a Reply