By the late 1880s and 1890s, whites were lynching African Americans throughout the country.
Infuriated about the gains that blacks had made since slavery ended, white American mobs lynched blacks to assert white control. Men and women were lynched for talking fresh, for not addressing a white person correctly, and for testifying against a white person in court, for example.
In 1892, three African American men were lynched by a white mob in Memphis, Tennessee. Ida B. Wells Barnett (1862-1931), a black writer for the local black press, the Free Speech and Headlights, condemned the act and wrote passionately against it.
Wells Barnett went on to become the country’s foremost anti-lynching crusader, lecturing throughout the country. She helped found the Anti-Lynching Committee in London, and became involved in the woman’s suffrage movement as well.