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African-American Men and Women of the Progressive Era

Despite the presence of Jim Crow Era laws and politics, African-Americans attempted to reach achieve equality by creating organizations that would help them lobby few anti-lynching legislation and achieve prosperity. Here are several African-American men and women who worked to change life for African-Americans during this time period. 

One of his famous quotes is “Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.”

 In 1884, Ida Wells-Barnett sued the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad after she was removed from the train after refusing to move to a segregated car. She sued on the grounds that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 banned discrimination based on race, creed, or color in theaters, hotels, transportation and public facilities. Although Wells-Barnett won the case on the local circuit courts and was awarded $500, the railroad company appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Tennessee. In 1887, the Supreme Court of Tennessee reversed the lower courts ruling.

This was Well-Barnetts introduction into social activism and she did not stop there. She published articles and editorials in Free Speech. 

Well-Barnett published the anti-lynching pamphlet, A Red Record. 

The following year, Wells-Barnett worked with a number of women to organize the first African-American national organization-- the National Association of Colored Women . Through the NACW, Wells-Barnett continued to fight against lynching and other forms of racial injustice.

In 1900, Wells-Barnett publishes Mob Rule in New Orleans. The text tells the story of Robert Charles, an African-American man who fought police brutality in May of 1900.

Collaborating with W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter, Wells-Barnett helped increase membership of the Niagara

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