Through The Power Of Words Essay

2062 words - 9 pages

In a small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi lives a young woman, Ida B. Wells, who uses the power of her words to make a change. Her parents, James and Elizabeth Wells, emphasized the importance of education and her father was involved in politics by becoming a member of Loyal League. Through these teachings an interest in politics and ambitious goals were born. Following the footsteps of her parents, Ida B. Wells, born as a slave, devoted her whole life in creating a place of racial equality for the African Americans. Ida B. Wells has helped the African-American Community against lynching and discrimination by publishing book, writing articles and creating an anti-lynching crusade as she ...view middle of the document...

However, this incident creates a large amount of publicity, which led Ida into writing an article for “The Living Way, a black church weekly”. Her suit against the railroad company also sparked her career as a journalist. Many papers wanted to hear about the experiences of a school teacher who stood up against white supremacy. Her writing career blossomed in papers geared towards African American and Christian audiences. The article is well received, earning her a weekly column called “Iola” This began her role of representing the African-American community through the power of the newspaper. (CITE AT THE END OF PARAGRAPH)
Using the newspaper as an advantage, Ida is able to publicize the incidents that are happening to the African American community, more specifically, lynching. During the late 1800’s, there is an incident close to Ida where it is known as “The Lynching curve”. In March of 1892, her close friends, Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell and Henry Stewart, owns a grocery store, called People’s Grocery Company that competed against a white owned store across the street. Since the white owned store is losing business due to the “People’s Grocery Company” was becoming more popular, a white mob to gathered near their store. The black grocers heard about the mob and armed themselves before the white mob tried to run them out of town. During the invasion of the store, the black grocers injured three white men, and the next day, the incident is printed in the newspaper. The paper exaggerates the incident, and claims that the “Negro desperadoes” shot the white men. These accusations, ignited another mob who broke through the jail cells and killed the three black grocers. Ida, hearing about the incident, responds to this act of violence by writing an editorial in the Free Speech. She states “There is therefore only one thing left to do; save our money and leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when accused by white persons.” Two months after her article is published, six thousand black people left Memphis and most of them relocated to the Oklahoma Territory. For the rest who remained, they organized boycotts against white owned businesses in response to the lynching. (Sterling 80)
After this incident, it became an advantage to Ida B. Wells, because it allows her to publically voice her opinion. Since she knew the three men, her article became more effective in allowing her to urge the black people to leave Memphis. The readers see this as something personal and how it affects the black community, thus their leaving of Memphis. This demonstrates how Ida B. wells is making an impact on the community by using her words. However, this method became a disadvantage, because of the large quantities of black people leaving Memphis. During that time, it was important for business to be selling, but the African-Americans left and many business...

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