One of the most outspoken African American women of the late 1800s, and a major leader in the anti-lynching movement, was Ida B. Wells, a journalist from Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1892 she wrote an angry editorial in Free Speech, the Memphis paper she owned, attacking the morality of white men and women after three black men were lynched.
A white mob immediately destroyed the paper’s offices, but luckily Wells was in the North at the time.
She did not dare to return to Memphis, but she began an anti-lynching crusade from New York, going on speaking tours, setting up anti-lynching groups, and continuing to write articles exposing the crime of lynching.
Ida B. Wells spent her life fighting against lynching and speaking out for African American rights.