Princess of the Press: The Story of Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Overview

Beginning readers seeking an accessible biography will be captivated by the story of the remarkable Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862 1931), a teacher, journalist, lecturer, and civil rights leader. In clear, easy-to-read prose, award-winning author Angela Shelf Medearis shows how Wells-Barnett triumphed over adversity throughout her life and became a respected leader. Orphaned at the age of fourteen, with five younger siblings to care for, she taught school to support her family. Later Wells-Barnett became part-owner ...
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Overview

Beginning readers seeking an accessible biography will be captivated by the story of the remarkable Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862 1931), a teacher, journalist, lecturer, and civil rights leader. In clear, easy-to-read prose, award-winning author Angela Shelf Medearis shows how Wells-Barnett triumphed over adversity throughout her life and became a respected leader. Orphaned at the age of fourteen, with five younger siblings to care for, she taught school to support her family. Later Wells-Barnett became part-owner of an African-American newspaper and led a crusade against lynching, endangering her life. A champion of the cause of suffrage for women, she was an outspoken, unusual woman whose courage to seek the truth and fight for justice made history. Angela Shelf Medearis is the author of thirty-three books, including Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King and the Civil Rights Movement, which Booklist called "a concise,engaging biography for young readers."

A biography of the journalist, newspaper owner, and suffragette who campaigned for civil rights and founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jeanne K Pettenati
Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the daughter of freed slaves, became a teacher, civil rights advocate and journalist in the late 1800s and early 1900s when opportunities for women were extremely limited. Her life and achievements are recounted in this jewel of a book. The story is a straightforward and interesting account of a remarkable woman who used her writing talent to expose injustices inflicted on African Americans. A racist incident at an early age set the stage for Wells-Barnett's crusade to gain equal treatment for black Americans. She wrote and lectured widely on lynchings in this country, which cost her a home and a job when she incurred the wrath of angry white residents in Memphis, Tennessee. This is a dark period in our nation's history, but one that must be learned to understand the evils of racism. Wells-Barnett triumphs over many obstacles in her path as a black woman in this era when women were not allowed to vote and were denied other basic rights. This book is an excellent choice for students in middle school social studies and history classes.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5--One of the founders of the NAACP is brought to life in this readable biography. Medearis does a good job of portraying her subject's strong will and passion in the fight to obtain equal rights for African Americans. Beginning when Wells-Barnett was 14, the book draws readers in by showing her courage and determination to keep her younger siblings together after their parents died of yellow fever. She later discovered that her true love was writing. She began to write columns for African-American newspapers and then became co-owner of several newspapers. Readers will come to appreciate the power of the press and its role in informing people about lynchings and other injustices. A few archival photographs of the adult subject and her family appear in the latter half of the narrative. Children will gain an understanding of the past through this inspirational account of one woman's life.--Katherine Borchert, Arlington Central Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
This entry in the Rainbow Biography series tells the story of Ida B. Wells, born in 1862, who was the oldest of seven children, and took over the responsibility of her family at age 14, when her parents died of yellow fever. Later she took a teacher's examination and taught school for $25 a month. A watershed event, the lynching of her good friend Thomas Moss, changed the course of Wells's life. From that time on, she fought with her pen, telling African-Americans to "leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when accused by white persons." She moved North, devoting her life to journalism and serving on the executive committee of the NAACP when it was formed in 1909. Medearis (Haunts, 1996, etc.) uses original sources from Wells's diary and journal entries to tell this remarkable story of an early civil-rights activist. Facts and names come fast, without extensive context; this is not the author's best biography, but it perfectly illustrates the power of the written word to make changes in a society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525674931
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Series: Rainbow Biography Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Medearis
Angela Medearis
Angela Shelf Medearis, author of The African American Kitchen, is the founder of Diva Productions, Inc., the organization that produces her multicultural children's books, cookbooks, videos, and audiocassettes.
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