ida b wells

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher. She was born July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, MS and died March 25, 1931, Chicago, IL.

In May, the Pulitzer organization awarded Ida Wells Barnett a special citation “For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.” The Pulitzer Prizes’ motto is “Honoring excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917” and this is the first time they honored Barnett who had been an investigative journalist some 20 years before their founding and whose work continued until her death in 1931. 

The irony of their oversight is that every mainstream news publication in the nation, and a few in other countries, covered the comings and goings of Ida B. often. The New York Times announced her marriage though they published a ‘belated’ obituary in 2018. European press covered her anti-lynching tours. White southern newspapers loved to hate Barnett and her rabble-rousing; sticking her nose where it did not belong with anti-lynching reporting. 

July 16 is the late Ida B. Wells Barnett’s 158th birthday. To celebrate the educator, activist and investigative journalist, we have compiled an essential reading list about her and her work. As members of the Black press, we are indebted to her as an example of courage and proponent of freedom of speech, especially during these times. 

By Ida B. Wells

The Ida B. Wells Papers at the University of Chicago 

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Red Record, by Ida B. Wells-Barnett


Lynch Law in All Its Phases - February 13, 1893

PDF Letters in Ida’s Handwriting, University of Chicago

Crusade for Justice Ida B. Wells PDF The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Southern Horrors, by Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Books About Ida B. Wells

Ida:  A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching

Paula J. Giddings

HarperCollins, 2008

800 pages

Ida B. Wells-Barnett & American Reform 1880-1930

Patricia A. Schechter

The University of North Carolina Press, 2001

386 pages

Passionate for Justice:  Ida B. Wells As Prophet for Our Time

Cathering Meeks and Nibs Stroupe

Church Publishing, 2019

150 pages

Political Pioneer of the Press  (text book)

Lori Amber Roessner & Jodi L. Rightler-McDaniels (editors)

Lexington Books, 2018

244 pages

Select articles

March 8, 2018, The New York Times belated obituary  

March 16, 2018  The New York Times podcast

"Remembering Ida B. Wells's Legacy" by Michelle Duster Teen Vogue

"Ida B. Wells:  The 'Drive' in Her Name a Long Wait for a Distinguished Lady"

Click Here to Read

"Ida B. Wells and the Birmingham Connection." Click Here to Read

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.