Ida B. Wells was born into slavery in Mississippi in 1862 and dedicated her life to exposing the injustices of racism and sexism and the devastation of mob violence.
Her parents helped to start a black college after the Emancipation Proclamation, but died of yellow fever when Wells was just 16.
She later found her calling as a journalist exposing the horrors of lynching and violence affecting African Americans and women. She cofounded the National Association of Colored Women in 1896.
Her reporting about three friends who were killed by a white mob in 1892 got national attention. In response, a mob destroyed her newspaper’s presses and threatened to kill her. Wells left the South but continued crusading for justice until her death in 1931.