Suffrage in 60 Seconds: Ida B. Wells

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It's March 3, 1913, Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The delegation of Illinois suffragists is lining up to participate in the Woman Suffrage Procession on the day before Woodrow Wilson's presidential inauguration. And somehow they get the word. Organizer Alice Paul does not want Black and white women marching together. So the group turns to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, their only Black member, and says, "We're sorry, Ida. We don't want to cause any trouble. You'll have to go to the back of the parade." Ida storms off in tears. But she doesn't go to the back. She waits along the parade route. And when the Illinois delegation appears, she steps out in front. So for the rest of the woman suffrage procession, Ida B. Wells-Barnett of Chicago leads the Illinois suffragists. And that's why at Belmont-Paul, we say you can't spell formidable without Ida.

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Ida B. Wells spent her life fiercely dedicated to truth and equality, including the rights of all to vote. In this Suffrage in 60 Seconds video, hear a story about the way that determination showed up during the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession.

Part of a series of articles titled Suffrage in Sixty Seconds.

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Pennsylvania Avenue

Last updated: September 1, 2020