Review: Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells

Crusade for Justice

This is the proof that Ida B Wells-Barnett was one of the ultimate kick-ass women who turned history on its head. She was witty, intelligent, and fearless. She was a ferocious warrior for justice and for the advancement of her people. Because she dedicated so much of her life, her energy, and her love to the cause of advancing, protecting, and fighting for her people, this autobiography reads more like a recounting of her career with tidbits of personal information.

Ida was such a selfless spirit that she focused on her story as a way to provide more insight to the overall trajectory of attempts at fighting lynching and the racist system that allowed such tragedies take place. Ida, by no means, paints herself as a saint. Often, she provides insight into her emotions that can get the best of her, her struggles of being a black woman working with white female suffragists and women of her own race, and being the first woman to continue working after becoming a wife and mother.

Mrs. Barnett was inspired to recount her life after she had a conversation with a young black woman who cited Ida as the woman she believed to have characteristics of Joan Arc, but did not know much about Ida and wanted to understand why she was regarded as such a noble woman.

“And so, because our youth are entitled to the facts of race history which only the participants can give, I am thus led to set forth the facts contained in this volume,” and that is exactly what Mrs. Barnett does, all while allowing us insight into her journey from a child of former slaves to the fierce crusader for Justice.

Ida states that this book is dedicated to the youth who know not much about their history, and I believe that by reading such an endearing tale is the smallest way we could pay back a woman who dedicated her life to fighting for ours.


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