It only seems fitting to kick of 28 Days of Blackness with the woman that I have admired for 30 years.
Ida Bell Wells was born right as chattle slavery was ending. Became educated through force of wit and will all while raising her younger siblings. She indeed was a force of nature. It was her boldness, her pen, her bravery, that inspired me to be just as forthcoming.
Ida B. is a whole mood.
When I decided to create the platform known as The Ideal Firestarter, I had no idea what I wanted it to do, let allow the whole vision what it would become. I wanted the blog to be a place of rest, humor and truth-telling. And I believe that has happened.
When thinking about topics, themes and the force of nature needed to wield and bend these letters to words and worlds, I think about her. I think about the mobs of angry white men that wanted her silenced. I remember the angry white men that wanted her dead. I remember the story of her buying a gun for protection, and having to leave Memphis. I remember the white suffrigists that wouldn’t let her march with them–but she forced her way through.
Ida B. would not be denied.
For that fire, for that bravery, she is the patron saint of The Ideal Firestarter. If I can harness a quarter of what she did, of what she left, I’d be doing good.
My favorite quote from her has to be this:
“I’d rather go down in history as the lone Negro who dared to tell the government that it had done a dastardly thing than saving my skin by taking back what I said.”