Ida B. Wells was already a known activist and journalist.
But, after her close friend was lynched for merely owning a grocery store, she began investigating the high rate of Southern lynchings. What she discovered was horrifying.
Wells found that Black people were lynched not because they committed crimes or raped white women, as white Southerners claimed, but for not being submissive to whites.
They were also lynched for competing with whites economically and for failing to pay debts that they often were trapped into. Lynchings, she found, were a form of social control.
After publishing these findings, a white mob burned her offices to the ground. Instead of being intimidated, Wells published an even more detailed account in the “New York Age.”
Later, she published the 100-page pamphlet, “Southern Horrors,” revealing the South’s dirty lynching secret to the world.
Ida B. Wells’ fearlessness and bravery resulted in the anti-lynching campaign, which then led to more vigilance in protecting Black lives from this Horror of the South.