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This essay seeks to recontextualize some of the proverbs and proverbial expressions that Ida B. Wells Barnett used throughout her life by examining biographies, personal diaries, articles and letters, and ana- lytical texts about her life. Her proverbs and proverbial language come from a variety of different sources including literature, the Bible, and other famous leaders. She used proverbs in diverse and ingenious ways for a multitude of purposes. Her primary reasons for employing proverbi- al rhetoric was to persuade political leaders to put an end to lynch laws and mob violence in America. She also used them to bring attention to the temperance movement and to other causes that she cared deeply about. One overarching idea in this essay is that by understanding Wells- Barnett’s use of proverbs and proverbial language, one may also gain a more thorough understanding of various aspects of her worldview.
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