Ida B. Wells and Anti-Lynching Activism

A packet of 13 primary sources provides young historians with insight into the anti-lynching activism of civil rights Ida B. Wells. Included are images of Wells, her letters, a political cartoon, newspaper lynching announcements, and a photograph showing the aftermath of a public lynching. Powerful and disturbing, the set provides background information about the push-back to the Reconstruction era.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Divide the class into groups, assign each a different primary source to research,h and present their findings to the class
  • If groups have access to computers with internet, load the primary source set on the devices to save on copying costs
  • Have groups investigate more recent instances of lynchings
Classroom Considerations
  • One of the resources carries a warning due to the graphic nature of the images
  • Presumes pupils can discuss the topics safely and respectfully
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • The packet includes an introduction that provides background information about Wells, the primary source set, and a teacher guide that includes discussion questions and activities
Cons
  • None