Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

In 1894 and 1895, Frances Willard, the renowned president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and Ida B. Wells, the prominent journalist and anti-lynching activist, fought a war of words in the international press. In 1890, Willard had made racist statements in a newspaper interview while in Atlanta, Georgia for a WCTU convention. Four years later, in 1894, Wells publicized the interview to pressure Willard to support her anti-lynching work. The resulting conflict attracted international attention and condemnation of the WCTU and Willard.

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