Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (1862 – 1931) was an American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Patricia Hill Collins is an American academic specialising in race, class and gender. She is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also the former head of the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and a past President of the American Sociological Association.
Introduction, by Patricia Hill Collins
I. Souther Horrors
II. A Red Record
III. Mob Rule in New Orleans
Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s On Lynchings is not only prescient in our current moment when we’ve seen a resurgence of mob violence and state-sanctioned police brutality against Black people and others seeking freedom and justice; Wells-Barnett’s words provide the intellectual and activist concepts that we need to fight in our present. She pointedly illustrates how the brutalization and murder of Black people is of interest to all for both issues of humanitarianism and capitalism; ultimately, Wells-Barnett in her own right—and as situated beautifully by Patricia Hill Collins—is the foundation from which we can make sense of violence across the U.S. (and globe) and the paths we must take to end it. As we dismantle, reimagine, and create a world that sees the humanity in all of us by centering the most discriminated against among us, Wells-Barnett’s works should be the touchstone we come back to again and again for revelation, motivation, and world-making.