Pulitzer Prize Board citation to Ida B. Wells, as an early pioneer of investigative journalism and civil rights icon
From a thinker who Maya Angelou has praised for shining “a brilliant light on the lives of women left in the shadow of history,” comes the definitive biography of Ida B. Wells—crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage and against segregation and lynchings
Ida B. Wells was born into slavery and raised in the Victorian age yet emerged—through her fierce political battles and progressive thinking—as the first “modern” black women in the nation’s history.
Wells began her activist career when she tried to segregate a first-class railway car in Memphis. After being thrown bodily off the car, she wrote about the incident for black Baptist newspapers, thus beginning her career as a journalist. But her most abiding fight would be the one against lynching, a crime in which she saw all the themes she held most dear coalesce: sexuality, race, and the law.
Paula J. Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor in Afro-American Studies at Smith College and the author of When and Where I Enter and In Search of Sisterhood.