So a couple of years ago, I wrote this for my Dad’s birthday.
Happy Birthday Daddy!
(And Nisha Bisha – tomorrow!)
(And Mommy – Sunday!)
But. This morning I was told that today’s Google Doodle was a BHFOTD.
And WHAT A COINCIDENCE, I had this one about this self same person laying around.
How about a look into my family tree?
My Dad has 2 girls and 2 boys.
And only the girls had boys.
And the boys (BOY, actually. Only one of my brothers has kids) have girls.
Also, the girls are done having kids.
So I guess it’s on the boys to make us sommore McDuels.
Really, just my baby brother. Because I’m pretty sure that if my little brother tries again for a boy he’ll probably have TWINS that will also be girls for his trouble.
This has nothing to do with anything except for the fact that today’s my Daddy’s Birthday!
And what better way to commemorate my Dad’s birthday than with a Black History Fact of The Day (BHFOTD)?
On THIS day in 1862, Ida B Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi just before President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Wells-Barnett became a prolific social activist and champion for the right of African-Americans. She was also a founding member of the NAACP.
In March 1892 a white mob invaded her friends’ (Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Stewart) store because was seen as competitive with a white-owned grocery store across the street. During the altercation, three white men were shot and injured. Moss, McDowell, and Stewart were arrested and jailed. A large lynch mob stormed the jail and killed the three men.
The murder drove Wells to research and document lynchings and their causes. She began investigative journalism, looking at the charges given for the murders. She officially started her anti-lynching campaign. She spoke on the issue at various black women’s clubs, and raised more than $500 to investigate lynchings and publish her results. Wells found that blacks were lynched for such reasons as failing to pay debts, not appearing to give way to whites, competing with whites economically, being drunk in public, walking down the street with a pack of skittles and an iced tea, jaywalking, switching lanes without using a blinker (WAIT. WHAT?). She published her findings in a pamphlet entitled “Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases.”
Wells received much support from other social activists and her fellow clubwomen. In his response to her article in the Free Speech, Frederick Douglass expressed approval of her work: “You have done your people and mine a service…What a revelation of existing conditions your writing has been for me.” (Freedman, 1994). Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to Europe with the help of many supporters. In 1896, Wells founded the National Association of Colored Women, and also founded the National Afro-American Council. Wells formed the Women’s Era Club, the first civic organization for African-American women. This later was named the Ida B. Wells Club, in honor of its founder.
Wells spent the latter thirty years of her life in Chicago working on urban reform. She also raised her family and worked on her autobiography. After her retirement, Wells wrote her autobiography, Crusade for Justice (1928).
She never finished it; the book ends in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a word. Wells died of uremia (kidney failure) in Chicago on March 25, 1931, at the age of sixty-eight.
An aside: I don’t usually post my random BHFOTDs because y’all get a solid month of black people shit in February. And these are the ones I send when I feel like it. Because it’s Tuesday. Or I am avoiding doing work stuff. Or maybe I have something to say and you just have to be paying attention. But NOT TODAY! Today, we’re talking about a lady who
chose to expose lynchings of her people in a time where it was pretty much acceptable to do to people whatever they wanted because even though black people were free they were still considered insignificant and not really people, so what’s the big damn deal because it’s not like people are still killing black folks with no consequence, right? has the same birthday as my Daddy.