Sothern Horrors Ida B Wells Analysis

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Sothern horrors is a pamphlet produced by the author Ida B wells detailing the barbaric nature of southern lynch laws in the Jim crow era of the United States. In it she details what she believes to be some of the main issues that caused the toxic environment for African Americans during these times. Issues such as white supremacy, and preserving the apparent honor of white women were the main causes of the lynchings she discusses within her paper. Her intent in writing this paper is quite clear. In her own words, she calls this paper “a contribution to truth, an array of facts, the perusal of which it is hoped will stimulate this great American Republic to demand that justice be done though the heavens fall.” (Wells, 5) Her intent was to write …show more content…
Ida believes that the primary motivation was in preserving the honor of southern white women, regardless of if she desires such or not. She provides many examples of how black men were either tortured, executed and often, both, for simply being accused of criminal sexual activity, which during this era, can include a consensual sexual relationship between both parties. One case involved a young married woman who had carnal relations with a young African American man, and out of fear of the possibility of her having a mulatto baby claimed the young man had raped her. 15 years after the man’s initial imprisonment she came clean to her husband who then had the man released and promptly filed for divorce. Cases like these were far too common, however one case that Ida failed to mention was the subject of a now very famous book called ‘To kill a mockingbird’. In this book, 2 women accused 9 African American teenage boys of raping them on a train. Their sentences ranged from imprisonment to the death penalty. The young men eventually won their case only after one of the women professed to selling sex to young men on the train. Ida’s main claim is that very often, white women enjoy the company of black men just as many white men enjoyed the company of young black women. However, most of the time, the “shame” that these women experience either from the surrounding community, or from society itself for their attraction forces them to make claims of rape or to leave their communities altogether. This culture that existed in the south of blaming black men for the false crime of simply associating with white women was a very toxic environment and did not allow for the improvement of the black community. However, false accusations of rape were nowhere near the worst levied against young black

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