Women In History Presents Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was a woman ahead of her time. Born a slave in 1862, Wells went on to become a journalist, civil rights activist, public speaker and educator. She was arrested in Tennessee in 1884 after refusing to give up her first-class train seat. She also ran for state senate in 1930, only a year before her death.

You can learn more about this civil rights pioneer on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium when Women in History presents the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett in a portrayal by Sherrie Tolliver.

Wells began her anti-lynching campaign in 1892 when three black store owners in Memphis were lynched after defending themselves against an attack by a white mob angry over the success of the store. Wells’ outrage grew into a series of articles in black-owned newspapers, a trip around the South to gather information and the publication of an in-depth report on lynching in America for the New York Age. For her efforts, white citizens in Memphis destroyed her newspaper office and threated to kill her if she returned from New York. She became Ida B. Wells-Barnett in 1895 after marrying Ferdinand Barnett, with whom she had four children. Wells-Barnett went on to establish several civil rights organizations and was present at the meeting which founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Library performance will feature Sherrie Tolliver, dressed in period costume, delivering a monologue as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, followed by a question and answer session. Founded in 1991, Women in History does extensive character research and uses authentic vintage clothing when possible. Even hairdos are styled by a specialist in historic hair design.

Join Tolliver on March 10, 2019 at this Sunday with the Friends performance to learn more about the remarkable life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.05.2019