To Keep the Waters Troubled: The Life of Ida B. Wells

Paperback | October 15, 2000

byLinda O. McMurryAs told byLinda Mcmurry Edwards

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In the generation that followed Frederick Douglass, no African American was more prominent, or more outspoken, than Ida B. Wells. Seriously considered as a rival to W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington for race leadership, Wells' career began amidst controversy when she sued a Tennesseerailroad company for ousting her from a first class car, a legal battle which launched her lifelong commitment to journalism and activism. In the 1890s, Wells focused her eloquence on the horrors of lynching, exposing it as a widespread form of racial terrorism. Backing strong words with strongactions, she lectured in the States and abroad, arranged legal representation for black prisoners, hired investigators, founded anti-lynching leagues, sought recourse from Congress, and more. Wells was an equally forceful advocate for women's rights, but parted ways with feminist allies who wouldsubordinate racial justice to their cause. Using diary entries, letters, and published writings, McMurry illuminates Wells's fiery personality, and the uncompromising approach that sometimes lost her friendships even as it won great victories. To Keep the Waters Troubled is an unforgettable accountof a remarkable woman and the and the times she helped to change.

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In the generation that followed Frederick Douglass, no African American was more prominent, or more outspoken, than Ida B. Wells. Seriously considered as a rival to W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington for race leadership, Wells' career began amidst controversy when she sued a Tennesseerailroad company for ousting her from a first c...

Linda O. McMurry is a Professor of History at North Carolina State University, and author of George Washington Carver: Scientist and Symbol and Recorder of the Black Experience: A Biography of Monroe Nathan Work. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

other books by Linda O. McMurry

Format:PaperbackPublished:October 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195139275

ISBN - 13:9780195139273

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"To Keep the Waters Troubled fills the immediate need to re-examine Wells-Barnett's life.... [It] marks a critical juncture in Wells-Barnett scholarship; it brings us to the disciplinary edge where biography stands ready to find its best expression as cultural history."--Jacqueline Goldsby,The Women's Review of Books