Letters to the Editor: Ida B. Wells-Barnett deserves credit for the federal anti-lynching act

President  Biden, surrounded by onlookers including Vice President Kamala Harris, sits and signs a paper
President Biden signs the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in the Rose Garden of the White House on Tuesday.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

To the editor: The signing of a federal anti-lynching law by President Biden is a momentous occasion, and The Times is right to acknowledge the long history that preceded the signing.

But the piece woefully omitted mentioning Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the Black journalist whose activism, writing and speeches brought the issue of violence against Blacks to international attention in the 1890s and beyond. Before co-founding the NAACP, Wells created and energized a wide-ranging anti-lynching campaign that educated Americans about the crime of lynching, and repeatedly sought federal legislation to address it.

If any one person’s name is mentioned in connection with the anti-lynching law, it should be that of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.


D. Keith Naylor, South Pasadena


It was encouraging to read the article confirming that President Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law. African Americans and others have waited for generations for the heinous crime of lynching to be declared a federal hate crime. I was saddened that this occasion did not make the front page.

Martha Morales, Upland