Personal Narrative: Ida Wells Barnett

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My name is Ida Wells Barnett. Those of you who join me here today are all here for the same valuable reason. We are here because our country's national crime is lynching. We are here to campaign against and revoke the ability for our nation to lynch people. However, it seems as if not just anybody who breaks the law is being lynched, but instead many of our fellow African-Americans are deliberately being chosen. My friends, we need to stand up to this racial discrimination and not let our race diminish just because us blacks are seen as an inferior race. This is an extremely important time in the history of America. We are going through a period where numerous reform groups are beginning to take shape, all of which are led by people who want to change something in their country or in the world. My goal is to revoke the right to lynch, the right to hang someone because they have supposedly done something wrong whether it be a crime or not. My goal is to revoke this despicable punishment but at the same time diminish racial prejudice against blacks. About a week ago, here in Memphis, three of my friends were lynched. Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Stewart. These three men were owners of People's Grocery Company. Their small grocery had taken away customers from competing white businesses. A group of white men…show more content…
There is nothing we can do about the lynching now, as we are out-numbered and without arms. The white mob could help itself to ammunition without pay, but the order is rigidly enforced against the selling of guns to blacks. There is therefore only one thing left to do; save our money and leave a town which will neither protect our lives and property, nor give us a fair trial in the courts, but takes us out and murders us in cold blood when accused by the white
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