Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells, Temperance, and "Race Progress"

Ida B. Wells on Temperance

In 1891, Ida B. Wells wrote an article about temperance that appeared in the A.M.E. Church Review, the publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and one of the earliest African-American journals in the U.S. Wells argued that, while black people were probably not any more likely to drink than others, the consequences of drunkenness for people who were already poor and oppressed were even more severe. She called on black educators, journalists, and ministers to draw attention to the dangers of drink for black Americans and thus foster “race progress.”

In the third paragraph, Wells refers to Willard's recent statements in the Voice interview from the year before. Whether or not Willard had intended it, her words were already having an impact.

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