Pioneering Women and Early Government Leaders

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

a 25-cent stamp with Ida B Wells, and African American woman, shown in portrait. She is facing the viewer and wearing a cream dress with a white ruffled collar, and her hair is in an updo. In the background are numerous figures holding signs.
The Ida B. Wells stamp was issued February 1, 1990.

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) continued the legacy of Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, dedicating her life to teaching others of the injustices facing women and African Americans. In 1884 Ida refused to move to the segregated car on a train and was forced off the car. Infuriated, she sued and won, but the case was overturned.

Ida began writing about her own experiences and those of others. She launched a crusade against lynching, Jim Crow laws, unequal education and actively promoted suffrage for women. Although she received numerous threats for her views, Ida refused to stop. She helped form the National Association of Colored Women and campaigned for voting rights for African American women. She was also a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Ida’s work spread awareness of discrimination and promoted equal opportunities for all.