Wells and Terrell are both black female activists in movements for equality, championed racial equality and women’s suffrage. Both authors are born with a close connection to slavery (Terrell was the daughter of a former slave while Wells was born into slavery and became politically active after war). Terrell later joined Wells in her anti-lynching campaign, after both authors lost one of their friends due to lynching.
In the reading material “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States,” Terrell condemned the discriminations towards African Americans in the society that is penetrated by Jim Crow laws. Having received high education (graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Oberlin college), she knew the importance of education but saw the helplessness and the hopelessness facing the insurmountable obstacles that prevents people of color to pursue what they deserve. The obstacles lead to the “lack of incentive to effort.”
For Ida B Wells, she found it ironic that the people were blinded from the questions, raised from morally-corrupted lynching, that vilify the country, and its people, as a whole. First, the economic cost paid in indemnities for lynching mounted to a half million dollars. Second, the Anglo-Saxon civilization, who knew the teachings of Christianity, had fallen to the point where it is incapable of protecting its women. The third point, which can find resonance in Terrell’s speech as well, is the huge “chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe,” and the actual daily practice carried out “under the protection of this flag.” It is ironic, that the country had been active in claiming to right the wrongs but in reality was perpetuating the wrongs.