Unit 4 Assignment 1 by Skylar McVicar

Mary Church Terrell

  • Background
    • Born in Tennessee in 1863
    • Daughter of two former slaves
    • She attended Oberlin College
    • First African-American woman to earn a college degree
  • Religion
    • Taught at a college associated with the Methodist Church
  • Expressions of violence

Ida B. Wells

  • Background
    • Born into slavery during Civil War
    • Moved to Tennessee after yellow fever killed her parents
    • Moved to Chicago after she was removed from a train car for no reason and received backlash from the community
  • Religion
    • Devout Christian
    • Emulated her parents’ commitments to religion and racial uplift by merging the two concepts and making them the essence of her activism
    • Social, political and economic justice were civil rights and intrinsic to Christian ideals, righteousness, and self identity
  • Expressions of violence
    • Traveled to shed light on the lynching issue to foreign audiences
    • Was a founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club
    • A vocal critic of the condition of blacks only schools
    • Fought for women’s suffrage
    • Led an anti-lynching campaign in D.C.
    • Founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) along with MAry Church Terrell
    • Fought against prejudice, no matter what potential dangers she faced

Both women were extremely influential and impactful activists. Their common history of slavery and discrimination fueled their individual desires to fight against discrimination for all blacks and women. Because of their experiences with unlawful discrimination, both women faught in their communities and at the state and federal levels to enact change. Women nowadays constitute the particular focus of both Terrell and Wells by fighting for certain rights even when the male majority wants to oppress women. Through their actions, Terrell and Wells encourage all black people facing racial prejudice to respond by fighting against their oppressors with education and activist movements. Often times, the courts are where the most lasting action will be implemented.

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