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PHOTO ESSAY

Influential Black Women

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Ida B. Wells

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

In 1892, when Ida B. Wells-Barnett launched the first phase of an international campaign against lynching in the United States, lynching was a fairly common practice. Horrified at the murder of three of her colleagues, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, an activist and journalist, began an extensive campaign speaking out against lynching and quickly became a well-known spokesperson on the subject. Wells-Barnett wrote about and spoke out against lynching in the United States, but she also toured in England and Scotland as she believed that international action was required to end lynching. While the practice continued into the twentieth century, Wells-Barnett's activism brought awareness of the realities of the epidemic to a far-reaching audience, and the court of public opinion ultimately helped to curtail the crimes.

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