Baker Essay The backgrounds of Ellea Baker, Ida Bell Wells, and Mary Eliza Church Terrell had many similarities, but the three also had many differences. Ellea was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1903 as a free black woman. Although Ida and Mary were not slaves long, they did start life owned by another around the time of the Civil War.
Growing up was quit similar for all three. They all understood the concept of prejudice at a young age, yet their homes were relatively stable. Even though Mary's parents were divorced, she still had a fairly happy family life, but she didn't experience the normal everyday housework the other two did. Ida's childhood was also happy at first, but after her parents died she would have to grow up fast. Ellea's neighborhood as a child was somewhat different though. She lived in a rural area that had a kind of one for all and all for one attitude.
The education of the three was very close. Ellea graduated from Shaw University in 1927. Mary receives her diploma in 1884, from Oberlin College. Mary would also gain education overseas though, where Ellea never left the United States. Ida, on the other hand, attended college, but because of a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, leaving her to take care of her bothers and sisters, she wasn't able to finish.
Once out of college, the girls' lives started out similar in the fact that being black hindered their employment opportunities, Mary would have it easier then Ellea or Ida because of her very light complexion. Later, Ellea's wages would be earned mainly from her activist activities. Ida and Mary's earnings came from activist activities also, but it wasn't their mainstay.
If there was one thing in their lives that was the same, it was their relentless fight for equality. They all three lived in a world with a corrupt system of government. All would have to worry about being hurt or even killed for what they believed in. Yet, Ida and Mary would write articles and go on many lectures in their protests against anti-lynching, and Ellea would be more of an organizer for many different aspects of the Civil Right Movement. Another difference between them in their activist activities was that Ellea was a behind the scenes type activist, whereas Ida and Mary were well known. Not to discredit Ellea any though, because many of the organizations she aligned herself with probable couldn't have done their best without her. Another major difference was the media at the times of the three women. During Ellea's days of fighting against tyranny, the television would influence many people throughout the country. The newspapers and lectures halls of Ida and Mary's days did help to inform people, but not with the impact of the little picture box that had invaded nearly every home in America.
Bibliography Cantarow, Ellen. "Moving the Mountain: Women Working For Social Change" The Feminist Press, New York, 1980.