History books have documented the stories of those who fit this description. For example, George Washington possessed the military skills that enabled a loosely connected group of colonies to conquer what was, at the time, the most powerful nation in the world. He was a learned man and considered one of the best statesmen of his era. Without his leadership, the United States may not exist in its present form today. Abraham Lincoln had an even temperament, was fair-minded and understood the importance of bringing together a nation divided. Martin Luther King Jr. was a simple preacher who was called into action by an emerging civil rights movement and through his leadership, minds were changed, laws were enacted and an entire race of people was lifted into the mainstream of society. There are relatively few people in history that were in the right place at the right time, had developed the necessary skills and had the courage to effect change on a broad scale. The above-mentioned people, Washington, Lincoln, and King are well known even to very young children but there are lesser known persons who had an impact on society. One of those is Ida B. Wells. Both black persons and woman in the nineteenth century were thought of as lesser members of society yet Wells, through her communicative skills and courage emerged to be one of the great American personalities of her or any time. Ida B. Wells, born into slavery in 1862, was a respected journalist and an outspoken activist who championed racial equality leading efforts to illuminate and eradicate the lynching of black men in the South. Wells, a preeminent spokesperson for civil rights long before the Civil Rights Movement, contested segregation laws more than half a century prior to Rosa Parks’ famous bus incident in the 1950’s. Because she was a black female, much of her words were either left undocumented or were suppressed by the white media establishment.