“ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY”: THE PROVERBS AND PROVERBIAL SAYINGS OF IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT

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Raymond M. Summerville

Abstract

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.

Article Details

Keywords:
African American, American, Anti-lynching movement, au- tobiography, Bible, clergy, civil rights, Civil War, clergy, folk, folklore, human rights, Jim Crow, paremiology, politics, proverbs, proverbial ex- pressions, proverbial rhetoric, race, Reconstruction, slavery, suffragist, segregation, temperance.
How to Cite
Summerville, R. M. “‘ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY’: THE PROVERBS AND PROVERBIAL SAYINGS OF IDA B. WELLS-BARNETT”. Proverbium - Yearbook, vol. 38, Aug. 2021, pp. 315-60, https://naklada.ffos.hr/casopisi/proverbium/article/view/24.
Author Biography

Raymond M. Summerville

English Department, General Classroom Building, A-426, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 27411 East Market Street, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

E-mail: Raymondmjs@gmail.com