Ida Belle Wells was born in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She was the oldest of six children born to Jim and Lizzie Wells. An intelligent child, Wells would read newspapers to her father and his friends at the family home, according to Patricia A. Schechter, author of “Ida B. Wells-Barnett & American Reform, 1880-1930” (University of North Carolina Press, 2001), writing for All About History magazine. She was brought up to value her education, her family and her Christian faith. In 1878, both of Wells’ parents died in a yellow fever epidemic.
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