Wells Bernett’s and Addams Jane’s Articles Review Essay

These questions ask students to analyze the two articles, “Lynching and the Excuse for It” and “Why Women Should Vote,” assigned during Week 2.

Please answer the following questions:

  • What are the articles “Lynching and the Excuse for It” by Ida B. Wells and “Why Women Should Vote” by Jane Addams about? What are the two authors’ key arguments?
  • How do the themes and tones of both articles reflect the political objectives that motivated the organizing efforts of women during the Progressive Era? What were some of the organizations that worked to achieve the goals that Wells and Addams advocate for in these articles?
  • “Lynching and the Excuse for It” was written, in part, as a response to an anti-lynching article written by Jane Addams earlier in the same year. Wells’ response includes both praise and criticism for Addams’ analysis of lynching. What does this exchange reveal about challenges that women organizers in the Progressive Era faced when working to build diverse coalitions of women from different racial, economic, and educational backgrounds? What were some of the potential benefits of this approach? 
  • Both Ida B. Wells and Jane Addams were involved in organizing to address various forms of injustice and inequality. While these two articles were written to address the specific problems of lynching and the exclusion of women from the right to vote respectively, there are portions of both articles that refer to other societal problems. Please identify an additional problem that is discussed in one of the articles. (In answering this question, you may choose either of the two articles). Provide at least one quote from the article that you choose that involves an issue other than lynching or women’s suffrage. Explain how the author connects this additional problem to the primary issue they discuss.

This assignment will be graded according to the following criteria:

  1. Does the assignment address all the questions posed?
  2. Does the assignment demonstrate a close, careful, and thoughtful reading of the primary sources?
  3. Does the assignment demonstrate a strong familiarity with course topics and themes?
  4. Are all the claims made in the assignment accurate?
  5. Does the assignment make sense? Are the ideas within it communicated clearly within it?

These are the two lectures:

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