An Analysis On The Works Of Ida B. Wells

1259 words - 5 pages

In the words of Miss Ida B. Wells: The student of American sociology will find the year of 1894 marked by a pronounced awakening of the public conscience to a system of anarchy and outlawry which had grown during a series of ten years to be so common, that scenes of unusual brutality failed to have any visible effect upon the humane sentiments of the people of our land. She is depicting a period of time in American history stained with the blood of hundreds of free African American men, women and children. These people were unjustly slaughtered through the practice of lynching within the South. Wells was an investigative journalist and was involved in exploring, reporting, publishing literature on, and eventually campaigning against the tragedy that became lynching. Through initial research she became aware of these atrocities occurring as spectacle within an alarmingly large, and even more notably, segregated, population of the United States. She dedicated over a decade to her cause, publishing three pamphlets in eight years, while also traveling to England twice to gain support for her anti-lynching campaign. In reading her work, one may get the feeling that Wells really was a master of her craft. She became aware of an extremely barbaric aspect of society, and she utilized every asset available to her in order to expose the facts surrounding the half-truths and whole lies established to justify this inhumane act. She diligently gathered the truth and compiled her writing very carefully. Using reliable statistics employed to document the atrocious number of these occurrences and actual accounts of individual events used to precisely convey the gruesome details of the crimes, she put forth exceptionally convincing arguments and almost undeniable logic, gaining an overwhelming amount of support for her campaign.

The fact orientated, issue-based, reporting exhibited by Wells appears all but removed from practice in our modern media. Twenty-first century reporters fill the airwaves with “news” pertaining to facets of life entirely opposite of awareness and activism. When news regarding anything aside from the lives of celebrities or current pop culture does make the headlines, the story seems presented in a watered-down, somehow censored, fashion; leaving the reader asking more questions than they received answered. As the major methods of mass media become increasingly consumer driven, the great majority are presented with less mentally stimulating material called “news”. As a result, Americans are often less informed, and thus less willing to become involved in, political, social, and economic issues, nation and worldwide. Through the application of relevant and straightforward journalism, like that practiced by Ida B. Wells, the people of this country may be armed with the knowledge needed to have an effect on the events unfolding today that will affect tomorrow.

In each of her three bodies of work Wells takes time to carefully...

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