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PRINCESS OF THE PRESS by Angela Shelf Medearis

PRINCESS OF THE PRESS

The Story of Ida B. Wells-Barnett

By Angela Shelf Medearis

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-67493-4
Publisher: Dutton

 This entry in the Rainbow Biography series tells the story of Ida B. Wells, born in 1862, who was the oldest of seven children, and took over the responsibility of her family at age 14, when her parents died of yellow fever. Later she took a teacher's examination and taught school for $25 a month. A watershed event, the lynching of her good friend Thomas Moss, changed the course of Wells's life. From that time on, she fought with her pen, telling African-Americans to ``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 white persons.'' She moved North, devoting her life to journalism and serving on the executive committee of the NAACP when it was formed in 1909. Medearis (Haunts, 1996, etc.) uses original sources from Wells's diary and journal entries to tell this remarkable story of an early civil-rights activist. Facts and names come fast, without extensive context; this is not the author's best biography, but it perfectly illustrates the power of the written word to make changes in a society. (index, not seen, b&w photos, chronology, notes, further reading) (Biography. 7-10)