Ida B. Wells and her crusade against lynching. Includes information about the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and the Enforcement Acts.

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Ida B. Wells and the Crusade against Lynching

During the beginning of the 1880's, a series of laws known as the Jim Crow laws were passed. These laws legalized segregation between blacks and whites. When the blacks tried to stand up to the oppression they were threatened and in some cases killed. During this time, there were many lynchings and unfortunately, it was very common then. Frederick Douglass once said in a speech, "If there is no struggle there is no progress.... This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one.... But it must be a struggle."

The 13th Amendment freed the black slaves, the 14th granted them citizenship and the 15th allowed them to vote, but even though they were free, they were still treated differently. Whenever they tried to rise up against the white, they were challenged with violence. The Ku Klux Klan was formed with no intentions of becoming a terrorist organization, but it grew into one quickly.

Many people joined, from many the Southern states, the members were white and some even held honorable positions in the community. They dressed in white robes, masks, and wore cone shaped hats. They beat and murdered thousands, not caring if the people they hurt were men, women, children, or old, as long as they were black they were in danger of being victimized by the Ku Klux Klan. However, some states fought against the Ku Klux Klan. In Texas, Governor Edmund Davis organized a crack state police unit, and arrested 6,000 members. The Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871 issued by the federal government also lead to the fall of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Enforcement Acts were also known as the force bills. They were a series of laws that...