Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage

  • INTRODUCTION

  • Little Rock, Arkansas, January 1920

  • Narrator

    The black prisoners on Death Row had accepted their fate.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage
  • As they awaited execution, they sang songs about forgiving their enemies and meeting their Maker.

  • They did not realize that Ida Wells-Barnett, the famous black reporter, had snuck into the jail to interview them.

  • Now she was growing impatient.

  • After listening to their sad songs, she rose from her seat and walked close to the bars.

  • Profile Picture of Ida in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage

    Ida

    โ€œI have listened to your story,โ€

  • Narrator

    she said.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage
  • Profile Picture of Ida in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage

    Ida

    โ€œYou have talked and sung and prayed about dying.

  • But why donโ€™t you pray to liveโ€” and ask God to be freed?

  • If you have all the faith you say you have, you ought to believe that He will open your prison doors.โ€

  • Narrator

    The men looked at each other in amazement.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage
  • They knew Wells-Barnett was a reporter, but was she also a miracle worker?

  • She didnโ€™t look like one.

  • Narrator

    She was tiny, barely five feet tall.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage
  • Her hair was gray.

  • Her face was careworn.

  • Still, when they looked into her eyes, they saw a will of iron.

  • For the first time since their troubles began, the men felt hopeful.