Google+

The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader

51Y0uObJavLThe Light of Truth:
Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader

by Ida B. Wells

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Mia Bay

General Editor: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Penguin Classics

Paperback, $18.00                                                      

624 pages

ISBN: 978-0-14-310682-1

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“Ida B. Wells was born a slave in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. After beginning a teaching career to support her orphaned siblings, she moved to Memphis to become a journalist…

In 1883, she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a train, an experience that she chronicled in her first published piece. Though Wells achieved success as a writer, editor and even co-owner of a newspaper, her greatest accomplishments came after the lynching of a close friend in 1892 spurred her into a lifelong anti-lynching campaign.

She published powerful diatribes against lynching, leading to death threats and forced exile in the North… Wells devoted the rest of her life to civil rights, publishing widely and delivering impassioned speeches.”

Excerpted from the Introduction (page i)

 

Over 70 years before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, Ida Wells was similarly arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on a train to a white person. Wells survived the ordeal and was eventually inspired to embark on an impressive career as an eloquent advocate on behalf of African-American civil rights.

Her specific focus was lynching. After all, the practice went unpunished for over a century during which not one white person was ever tried, convicted and executed for employing that brand of vigilante justice against any of the thousands and thousands of black men, women and children victims. Edited by Mia Bay and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Light of Truth is a collection of Ida’s fiery essays, culled from her early writings.

In a professional and persuasive journalist tone, Ida recounts case after case in which a rush to judgment led to a gross miscarriage of justice.

Author ~ Mia Bay  Photo Credit: Leila Johnson

Author ~ Mia Bay Photo Credit: Leila Johnson

For example, in Selma Alabama a “colored man named Daniel Edwards” was hung from a tree and riddled with bullets as a “warning to all Negroes that are too intimate with white girls.” Truth be told, he had secretly dated the daughter of his employer for over a year until the scandalous relationship produced a biracial child.

Another entry discusses the details of the 1892 lynching in Quincy, Mississippi of five African-Americans merely on suspicion of poisoning a Caucasian, despite their already having been declared innocent by the local coroner. In this instance, Ida chastises white Christian ministers for failing to give the matter “more than a passing comment” in the pulpit. She goes on to cite the slayings as “proof of the moral degradation of the people of Mississippi.” And so forth.

A debt of gratitude is owed Ida Wells for preserving for posterity a host of illustrative examples of racist mobs bent on satiating their bloodlust by visiting violence on the bodies of blacks in vile fashion without any concern about guilt or innocence.

 

To order a copy of The Light of Truth, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0143106821/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Entertainment

Gosling and Stone Co-Star in Enchanting Homage to Hollywood Musicals

  La La Land Film Review by Kam Williams Gosling and Stone Co-Star in Enchanting Homage to Hollywood Musicals If you only see one movie this year, you need to get out more. That being said, La La Land is the picture to catch. This nostalgic homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood is a panoramic masterpiece which makes very effective use of every inch of the big screen. Written and directed by Oscar-nominee Damien Chazelle (for Whiplash), the picture was shot in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful thoughts of returning home alive … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of. I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for us. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Inside WildAid

  Inside WildAid by Amy Lignor   Donations can be made. Time can be volunteered. There are a great number of charities, organizations and hard workers out there who strive with everything they have to save the animals of the world. The National Wildlife Administration, the World Wildlife Federation – these are just two leaders that help keep our beloved species’ on the map. There is also an organization whose sole mission is to end illegal wildlife trade NOW, … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

  Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of hunting. That task can be made … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, he’s smiling for the cameras … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in order to have this loathsome … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly wonderful thing for all ages. And, no, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+