Civil Rights Leaders

Brooke Woods

Ida B. Wells

  • July 16,1862-March 25,1931
  • African American journalist
  • Newspaper Editor
  • suffragist
  • socialist




Ida B. Wells was born a slave in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She is best known as a civil rights and women's rights activist. She got married to a newspaper owner named Ferdinand L. Barnett. She was active in the women's suffrage movement, and she established several women's organizations.


She traveled internationally as a rhetorician. Ida was was very skilled at being persuasive. At ten years old, she lost her parents and younger brother to an illness called yellow fever.


On May 4,1884, she was given an order by a train conductor with Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern railroad. The train conductor ordered Wells to get up out of her seat and move to a crowded smoking car but she refused. The conductor and two other men dragged her out of the train, and she then returned to Memphis. She hired an African American lawyer to sue the railroad company, and once the lawyer was payed off by the railroad, she hired a white attorney. She won the case and received a $500 settlement.

Rosa Parks

  • Born February 4 ,1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Spent her youth on Edwards farm
  • Attended a small segregated school, in Pine Level, Alabama
  • Dropped out of school to take care of her sick grandmother and mother
  • Married Raymond Parks at age 19
  • Raymond Parks was a barber and active member of the National Association for the advancement of colored people
  • Earned a highschool degree in 1933
  • Joined the NAACP in 1943
  • On December 1, 1955, Rosa got on the Cleveland Avenue bus to return home after a long day of work
  • The city's bus ordinance gave the drivers the authority to assign seats, but did not given them the authority to demand a passenger to give up their seat
  • However, Montgomery bus drivers developed the custom of having black passengers give up their seats for a white when no other seats were available.
  • When the bus driver noticed that there was white people standing in the isle, he demanded for four black passengers to give up their seats. Three of them obeyed his command, but Rosa refused and stayed seated.
  • The driver called the police and had her arrested
  • Rosa was charged for the violation of the Montgomery city code
  • Later that night, she was released on bail
  • The same evening Parks was arrested, head of the NAACP, E.D Dixon, began organizing a boycott of Montgomery city buses.
  • Rosa was found guilt and was fined $10, as well as a $4 court fee
  • Blacks stayed off of the bus the day of Rosa's trial in order to protest her arrest.
  • After a lot of hard work and determination from African Americans, the boycott became successful ending segregation on buses, on December 20, 1956.