-ad 101-

Ida Wells-Barnett: Breaking Barriers and Founding the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago

Learn about the inspiring story of Ida Wells-Barnett, a slave-born civil rights activist and founder of the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago. Find out about her fight for civil rights, her crusade against lynching, and her legacy.
-ad 104-
Ida Wells-Barnett

Source: Black Media Council

You want to talk about breaking barriers? No one better epitomizes that sentiment than Ida Wells-Barnett, the founder of the first black woman suffrage organization, the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago. Born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Wells-Barnett challenged sexism and racial discrimination throughout her life.

More from the National Women’s History Museum:

As a young woman, Wells-Barnett successfully sued the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad for segregating its cars and forcibly removing her from coach to the colored car. In April 1887, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed her earlier victory. Wells-Barnett wrote scathing articles about lynching and other injustices under the pen name “Iola.” After three friends were lynched in 1892, Wells-Barnett wrote an expose about the lynching and urged the black population to leave Memphis; her expose enraged the citizens enough to burn her press and run her out of town.

She settled in Chicago where she met her husband, exposed lynching records, wrote a pamphlet about the exclusion of black from meaningful roles at the Worlds Columbian Exposition, started woman’s clubs, founded the Negro Fellowship League, and involved herself in suffrage. She marched in several national suffrage parades, lectured, and founded the first black woman suffrage organization – the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago.

Recommended For You

Statue of Liberty in 1905
Take a Look at Brooklyn Bridge 110 Years Ago - Stunning Old Black and White Image
A Woman's Gaze: An Iconic Photo by Toni Frissell
An Intimate Look at a South Side Chicago Barber Shop in April 1941
Revisiting the Historic Meeting of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X in 1964
A Look Back in Time: Exploring the Eiffel Tower in 1889
-ad 105-
-ad 103-

Featured Photos

The Historic Eruption of Mount St. Helens: A Photo from 1907
Statue of Liberty in 1905
The Colorized Moment When Oswald Was Shot by Ruby - A Stunning Moment in History Frozen in Time
A Rainy Day in the Big Apple: A Photo from World War II New York
Exploring History Through an Old Map of the Territory of Montana at the End of the Civil War
Celebrating the Fourth of July: A Look Back at Watertown, Wisconsin in 1941
The Most Beautiful Woman Ever - Just a Stunning Beauty
Take a Trip Back in Time: Check Out New York City Over 170 Years Ago
An Old Aerial View of Yankee Stadium in 1923, the Year It Opened
Take a Trip Back in Time: Check Out These Photos of Atlantic City in 1910

Get Your Daily Dose of History