Ida B. Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on the 19th of July, 1862.
Her father after obtaining his freedom was able to further his education and even briefly attended Shaw University. Later, Ida attended the same school. But telegraphing something of her future life, she was expelled following a confrontation with the college’s president. However, after a time, she readmitted. Although when her parents died from Yellow Fever she went to work as a school teacher to support her siblings. While working she also continued stuyding, at Fisk and at LeMoyne.
Ms Wells was a whirlwind of activism. In addition to confronting issues of race, she also stood up to the men running things. The Wikipedia biographical article about her notes how at twenty-four she declared: “I will not begin at this late day by doing what my soul abhors; sugaring men, weak deceitful creatures, with flattery to retain them as escorts or to gratify a revenge.”