Ida B. Wells in 1920 Credit: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf1-08642], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Won a lawsuit against the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railroad Company after they forced her off the train for sitting in the ladies’ car. Her victory was ultimately overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Became part owner of the Free Speech, a Memphis newspaper. According to Michelle Duster’s book, Ida B. the Queen, that made her one of the few Black women in the country at the time to be both owner and editor of a newspaper.
Published Southern Horrors, the first of many pamphlets she would write about her investigations into lynching in the United States
1893 & 1894
Went on speaking tours in England in order to share her reports on lynching in the United States
Co-founded the National Association of Colored Women
Established the first Black kindergarten in Chicago
Co-founded the NAACP, though she was excluded from the list of co-founders
Co-founded the Alpha Suffrage Club, the first Black women’s suffrage organization in Chicago. The club helped elect Oscar De Priest, the first Black alderman in Chicago.
Integrated the suffrage march in Washington, D.C., despite being asked to march in the back.
Congress Parkway was officially renamed Ida B. Wells Drive, becoming the first downtown street to be named for a Black woman. The street signs displaying her name went up in 2019.
Awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in the Special Citations and Awards category.