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Ida B. Wells and lynching in the U.S.

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  1. First, we will see to what extent Ida B. Wells's struggle against lynching opposed myths to science and objectivity
  2. In this part, we will analyse Wells's arguments on lynching in terms of an opposition between civilization and barbarism
  3. Finally, we can assert that Ida B. Wells saw in lynchings the manipulation of women by a patriarchal society

Either called "the Princess of the press" or "the Afro-American Agitator", Ida B. Wells left nobody indifferent. Her struggle started during a period called "the nadir of race relations" in the U.S., from which lynching as a phenomenon was one element. This practice in itself illustrates how much the emancipation was not a progress but a regression. In the 1870s, the North abandoned the goal of protecting black Americans. After 1890, racism worsened throughout the country, especially in the South. Most white Southerners did not ask for Reconstruction but for Redemption. As slavery no longer existed, they employed new extreme measures to return to the old social order. Lynching was the most telling form of terrorist violence and a symptom of the failure of Reconstruction. In a book that she wrote with Frederick Douglass and Ferdinand Barnett, published in 1893. The reason why the colored American is not in the world's Columbian Exposition, Wells traced the origin of Lynch Law. It was used for the first time by the colonel William Lynch in Virginia. He allowed a group of citizens to kill horse thieves and counterfeiters. It opened the way to the infliction of punishment by private and unauthorized citizens. When freed, Negroes were still viewed as sub-humans.

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