Ida B. Wells, an African American journalist, and activist, faced several traumatic experiences in her childhood that shaped her life and vision.
As a young child, she experienced the trauma of losing her parents and a sibling in a yellow fever epidemic. This experience forced her to become self-reliant and care for her younger siblings at a young age.
Later on, as a young woman, Wells experienced the trauma of racism and sexism in the Jim Crow South. She was forced to leave her teaching job after speaking out against discrimination against black teachers. She also experienced the trauma of witnessing and surviving multiple lynchings of black men in her community, which led her to become an outspoken anti-lynching activist.
She also faced discrimination and harassment as a woman in the male-dominated field of journalism. She was often denied access to sources and information because of her gender, and faced criticism and ridicule for her work.
It can be of benefit to us to continue to learn about our ancestors and their strengths because there are many!
Do not let the presentation a society gives you about our ancestors be enough.
Where I grew up in Chicago, the only association I had of Ida B Wells was “projects” living complex where the community was poor and “ghetto”.
If I allowed the imagery to be my only association with Ida, I would always connect her name with poverty and violence when the truth is her life was rich with ambition and progression despite her traumatic experiences.
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