Author: Mia Bay
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Summary: A great blend of scholarly rigor and pop history approachability.
This biography of Ida B Wells started slowly for me, but ended up being a great read. I’d obviously heard of Wells before, but pretty much all I knew was that she was a journalist. It turns out that’s only a tiny glimpse of her impressive accomplishments. In her early teens, the death of Ida’s parents forced her to become a school teacher and take on the responsibility of raising her siblings. The author does a great job of showing how this challenging childhood shaped Ida’s later opinions and life choices. The author also highlights that Ida was impressively self-taught, becoming a famous Black female journalist and co-owner of a newspaper in her thirties in the 1800’s. Ida’s achievement of this level of success with very little formal schooling is incredible. However, we also see that her lack of formal credentials may have combined with sexism, classism, and her uncompromising views on injustice to prevent her from achieving the leadership roles and recognition she deserved in her own life time. Read more »