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Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide

Lesson 5: Black HER-itage: Ida B. Wells and Patrisse Cullors

Original post on @saic.maffairs posted 2/24/21.

Black HER-itage: Ida B. Wells

Image of Ida B. WellsIda B. Wells-Barnett (prominent journalist, anti-lynching activist), battled sexism, racism, and violence in the late 19th-early 20th century. A skilled journalist, Ida shed light on the conditions of African Americans throughout the South. Ida’s career in journalism was ignited after witnessing the lynching and death of her friends and colleagues. Ida’s expose about the lynching enraged locals who burned her press. Ida’s writing made her a target and she received many threats before eventually being forced to move out of Memphis. Ida’s writing didn’t cease and she continued to draw awareness to the violence against African American people.1

Ida continued her work abroad, bringing attention about lynching to international audiences. "Abroad, she openly confronted women in the suffrage movement who ignored lynching."1 Her confrontations led to her being ostracized by women’s suffrage organizations back in the United States. Nevertheless, she remained active in fighting for women’s rights and founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Club to address civil rights and women’s suffrage issues, and co-founded the National Association Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 1


“I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or rat in a trap. I had already determined to sell my life as dearly as possible if attacked. I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit." - Ida B. Wells

To Read

To Listen

To Research

To Watch

Supplemental information for this video available here.

Black HER-itage Today: Patrisse Cullors

Image of Patrisse CullorsPatrisse Cullors (artist, organizer, educator, public speaker), is one of the Co-Founders and Executive Directors of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, a movement sparked by the viral hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. (See Black Lives Matter). #BlackLivesMatter has since expanded into an international movement with chapters around the world eradicating against anti-Black racism. For 20+ years Patrisse has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform and led Reform LA Jails’ “Yes on R” campaign, a ballot initiative that passed by a 73% landslide victory in March 2020. Patrisse’s memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Patrisse produced two podcasts with Rewire, developed a booklet labeled “c-section chronicles,” and was a former staff writer and actress for Freeform’s Good Trouble series.2


"I identify as an organizer versus an activist because I believe an organizer is the smallest unit that you build your team around. The organizer is the person who gets the press together and who builds new leaders, the person who helps to build and launch campaigns, and is the person who decides what the targets will be and how we're going to change this world."- Patrisse Cullors

To Read


Image Sources

Works Cited

  1. Arlisha Norwood, "Ida B. Wells-Barnett," National Women's History Museum, 2017, accessed Feb 11, 2021
  2. Patrisse Cullors, “Rise of a Freedom Fighter,” accessed Feb 3, 2021