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The Negro in IllinoisThe WPA Papers$
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Brian Dolinar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037696

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037696.001.0001

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(p.110) 13. Iola
The Negro in Illinois

Arna Bontemps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses Ida. B. Wells's crusade against Negro lynching and other abuses. Illinois newspapers adhering to the Democratic Party almost invariably treated the Negroes with undisguised hostility, while even the Republican press often subjected them to heavy-handed humor. While attention was centered upon those unfortunate enough to become involved with the police, the most eminent colored people were not immune to ridicule and abuse. This chapter looks at the efforts of Wells, whose reputation as a journalist and crusader against lynching spread after the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, when she collaborated with Frederick Douglass, I. Garland Penn, and Ferdinand L. Barnett on writing a booklet recording the achievements of American Negroes and refuting the false impressions created by most of the newspapers. Wells wrote for various Negro publications under the pseudonym “Iola” and was recognized as the most implacable and effective enemy of mob rule and racial discrimination in general.

Keywords:   lynching, Ida. B. Wells, Illinois, Negroes, Frederick Douglass, I. Garland Penn, Ferdinand L. Barnett, newspapers, mob rule, racial discrimination

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