Exactly 136 to the day after Ida B. Wells was thrown off a Chesapeake and Ohio railroad train, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize special citation for her “outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans in the era of lynchings.”
White folks could not stand her blunt description of their lynching behavior, which included her reporting that some Black men were lynched, not for rape, but because they had consensual sex with White women.
After three of her friends were lynched, primarily because of White economic envy, she traveled the South to document lynchings, going to lynching sites, interviewing witnesses, making clear that the trope that Black men were mostly lynched for “raping” White women was a falsehood.
Ida B. Wells would not have been a candidate for a Pulitzer citation without the ways the Black press embraced her.
Arbery’s dad described his massacre as a lynching, and it resonates with Ida B. Wells’ Pulitzer award.