It is perhaps because Ida B. Wells’s accomplishments were so numerous and various that she has largely faded from American cultural consciousness today. Her contributions to the early civil rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement made her, during her time, an internationally famous figure. Wells’s Memphis diary, currently housed in the Regenstein Library’s Special Collections, spans what one might assume to be the least interesting part of Wells’s life narrative: the period from December 29, 1885 to September 12, 1887, in which Wells was a schoolteacher first entering the world of publishing. What follows is a transcript of excerpts from Wells's diary, specifically those excerpts most salient to contemporary activists for racial justice and gender equality, and those which include specific names and titles of the people, places, publications, and media with which Wells engaged. I have also provided footnotes to clarify and analyze specific references Wells makes to such people, places, and media.




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