The Southern Roots of Ida B Wells-Barnett’s Revolutionary Activism

Topics: Southern United States, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: March 11, 2013
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The Southern Roots of Ida B Wells-Barnett’s Revolutionary Activism By Rychetta N. Watkins

Before Ida B Wells-Barnett expanded her revolutionary essence to the north, and even all the way to places like Britain; she began her long journey to activism deep in the heart of her southern roots, in Memphis. In the article, The Southern Roots of Ida B Wells-Barnett’s Revolutionary Activism, by Rychetta N. Watkins, Watkins reconstructs Ida B Wells’ life of activism, feminism, and leadership as a Southerner. As a goal to reemerge the revolutionary history of Wells’ life, the author also wrote this article for “ a personal journey of re-education about this dynamic woman” (Watkins 2008, 108). She accounts for Wells’ southern experiences as the source for her revolutionary mindset and actions.

It has been remarked that history is forgotten where it is most important. Watkins argues that there are many reasons why Ida B Wells is forgotten amongst today’s catalogue of revolutionary African Americans. She strongly suggests that it’s due to racism, sexism, classicism, and personality skirmishes (Watkins 2008, 108). What this article lacks is a valid explanation of how these listed aspects apply to the marred historical record of such a powerful woman. Due to her time period, sexism played an important role in her acceptance. When studying revolutionary African Americans, men were the center of attention in the field of black studies. Furthermore, women didn’t start to gain any rights until the 1960s and 1970s when the women’s rights movement reached its climax. Only then did women start to rediscover the buried history of former feminist African Americans. In addition, her historical dissipation is the result of the unyielding effects of time. Her trials and tribulations occurred a long time ago in the 19th century. To put this time difference in perspective, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was only two years old when Wells died at the age of sixty-eight....
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