The broadest and most comprehensive collection of writings available by an early civil and women’s rights pioneer
Seventy-one years before Rosa Parks’s courageous act of resistance, police dragged a young black journalist named Ida B. Wells off a train for refusing to give up her seat. The experience shaped Wells’s career, and—when hate crimes touched her life personally—she mounted what was to become her life’s work: an anti-lynching crusade that captured international attention.
This volume covers the entire scope of Wells’s remarkable career, collecting her early writings, articles exposing the horrors of lynching, essays from her travels abroad, and her later journalism. The Light of Truth is both an invaluable resource for study and a testament to Wells’s long career as a civil rights activist.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Ida B. Wells (1862–1931) was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She grew up to be a journalist who fought to expose the injustice of lynching through her writing, lecturing, and political activism.
Mia Bay is Professor of History at Rutgers University and Director of the Rutgers Center for Race and Ethnicity. She lives in New York City.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Wells was the most comprehensive chronicler of that common practice for which few words exist that provide sufficient condemnation. For that reason, and for Wells’ immense courage, clear pen, and understanding of the nature of journalistic advocacy, this new volume ought to become required reading for anyone interested in American history or current affairs." —Flavorwire
"An enlightening read, this collection will inspire anyone who still believes that journalism can be a voice for the voiceless." —Bust Magazine
"Ida B Wells stands out because she insisted on seeing." —Ta-Nehisi Coates