Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ida B. Wells - Barnett House
Ida B. Wells - Barnett House..
Address: 3624 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Year Built: 1889
Architect: Joseph A. Thain
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: October 2, 1995..
From 1919 to 1930, this was the home of journalist-civil rights activist Ida Bell Wells and her lawyer-journalist husband, Ferdinand Lee Barnett.
"We refuse to believe this country , so powerful to defend its citizens abroad, is unable to protect it's citizens here.."
Ida B.Wells Barnett spent her life crusading against lynching in America. An advocate for civil rights, woman's suffrage and economic justice, her anti-lynching campaign stirred the nation and brought international attention to racially motivated brutalities.
Born a slave in Mississippi, Wells became a teacher at the age 14. She was dismissed in 1891 for protesting segregation. In her 20's, she began writing for the Weekly Memphis Free Speech, focusing on social issues. Her column soon appeared in Negro newspapers across the country.
In 1893, Wells came to Chicago to report on the lack of African American representation at the World's Columbian Exposition. She moved here and in 1895, married Ferdinand Lee Barnett, founder of Chicago's first black newspaper, the Conservator. That same year, she published A Red Record, the first statistical report on lynching, and she lectured on the topic throughout the United States and the world.
Wells was a founder of several national organizations, including National Association for Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] in 1909, the Negro Fellowship in 1910, and the national first woman's suffrage organization. Locally, Wells helped open the first kindergarten in Chicago's black community.
Wells and her family lived at 3624 Grand Boulevard, now King Drive from 1919 to 1930..