Ida B. Wells-Barnett was born a slave in Mississippi in 1862. Her childhood ended abruptly when her parents and
brother died during a yellow fever epidemic, leaving Ida to care for her five
younger siblings. But as she would throughout
her life, Ida met the challenge. She
became a country school teacher at age sixteen to earn money to keep the family
together. Her career changed direction
when she was dragged off a train, to the applause of white passengers, after
refusing to give up a seat reserved for whites. From that day forward she dedicated herself to fighting injustice.