Anti-Lynching Comparison Essay
During the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, lynching was a serious problem in spite of the civil rights given to the Afro-Americans. Southern States created laws to get around the Afro-American’s civil rights and “help keep them in their place”. Anti-lynching activists had many different ideas on how to resolve this problem. Two such activists were Ida Wells and Booker T. Washington. Their ideas were similar yet different. They both thought that Afro-Americans should help themselves, yet had different beliefs on how they should go about it.
Booker T. Washington was born in Virginia 1856, before the Civil War. He lived through the reconstruction and saw how Afro-Americans rights were being abused. Booker T. Washington, taking the pacifist route, believed that although the Negro’s needed to help themselves, the whites’ should have treated them more fairly, “No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”1 Booker’s solution to solving the problem of lynching is mainly composed of, “… cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man…”2 Booker announced his ideas to white men at the 1895 Atlanta Compromise. He believed that if the whites hired the blacks and treated them fairly that they would be loyal to the whites. He urged the Afro-American community to let bygones be bygones.
Ida Wells was born in Mississippi in 1862. She was an activist because she felt those who let injustices occur, were just as guilty of the crime as those committing the crime. Blacks were being wrongly accused of violating the honor of white women, resulting in being lynched. White males committing the same crime as the accused Afro-Americans were being protected, given trials and found not guilty of the crimes they actually committed if that crime was against an Afro-American. She believed that Negro’s just needed to help...