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BHM17 – Ida B Wells

BHM - Ida B Wells

Ida B Wells lived from 1862 to 1931 in the USA. She was a brilliant journalist who documented the lynchings that were taking place there, and she also campaigned to stop this practice. She mostly worked in the USA but she also came to Scotland to speak as part of an anti-lynching tour in 1893. I find it awe-inpiring that she visited Scotland so people here could learn about her work and her experiences. She wrote fondly of her time here, so I think she felt appreciated at the time.

Long before women in the civil rights movement such as Rosa Parks were arrested for refusing to go to the back of buses, Ida B Wells was forced to leave a train in 1884 as she refused to sit in a ‘colored’ compartment. She took this to court and won her case (although the decision was sadly overturned) and her writing about this incident was the beginning of her journalistic career.

Ida lost 3 of her own friends to murders by lynching in 1892 and this started her on her path as one of the foremost anti-lynching campaigners.

It’s inspiring that she took experiences from her life and used them as catalysts to change society, and to excel in her field. At Amina, we see women who have this same ability to use their experiences to change the world, and women who have the courage to make changes in their own lives. We hope you can join us in our #YouCanChangeThis campaign to end injustice in the lives of women and girls across Scotland.