Episode 225:

It’s Jenga

The Life of Ida B. Wells


The Stonewall Uprising


Episode 225: It’s Jenga

Karen and Georgia cover the life of Ida B. Wells and the Stonewall Uprising.

Listen on Apple Podcasts. Listen on Spotify

The Life of Ida B. Wells

The Life of Ida B. Wells Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

Other Images:

Ida B. Wells (via Wikipedia)

Ida B. Wells with her children 1909 (via Wikipedia)

Ida B. Wells at 1913 Suffrage Parade (via Wikipedia)

Ida B. Wells Housing Project, Chicago 1941 (via New York Public Library)


"Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Wells arguably became the most famous black woman in America, during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence, who fought for equality for African Americans, especially women.

Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Wells was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War. At the age of 16, she lost both her parents and her infant brother in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She went to work and kept the rest of the family together with the help of her grandmother. Later moving with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee, she found better pay as a teacher. Soon, Wells co-owned and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. Her reporting covered incidents of racial segregation and inequality.

In the 1890s, Wells documented lynching in the United States through her indictment called "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases," investigating frequent claims of whites that lynchings were reserved for black criminals only. Wells exposed lynching as a barbaric practice of whites in the South used to intimidate and oppress African Americans who created economic and political competition—and a subsequent threat of loss of power—for whites. A white mob destroyed her newspaper office and presses as her investigative reporting was carried nationally in black-owned newspapers.

Subjected to continued threats, Wells left Memphis for Chicago. She married and had a family while continuing her work writing, speaking, and organizing for civil rights and the women's movement for the rest of her life. Wells was outspoken regarding her beliefs as a Black female activist and faced regular public disapproval, sometimes including from other leaders within the civil rights movement and the women's suffrage movement. She was active in women's rights and the women's suffrage movement, establishing several notable women's organizations. A skilled and persuasive speaker, Wells traveled nationally and internationally on lecture tours.

In 2020, Wells was posthumously honoured with a Pulitzer Prize special citation "[f]or her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching."..."

— Source: Ida B. Wells Wikipedia

The Stonewall Uprising

The Stonewall Uprising Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by daniel james on Unsplash

Other Images (not pictured):

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (via Reuters Graphics)

Slideshow of Images (via Google Arts and Culture)

The Stonewall Inn (via Wikipedia)


"The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Patrons of the Stonewall, other Village lesbian and gay bars, and neighborhood street people fought back when the police became violent. The riots are widely considered to constitute one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.

Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system Early homosexual groups in the U.S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, and they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, however, were contentious, as many social/political movements were active, including the civil rights movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the anti-Vietnam War movement. These influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots.

Very few establishments welcomed gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: butch lesbians, effeminate young men, drag queens, male prostitutes, transgender people, and homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gay men and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.

After the Stonewall riots, gay men and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race, class, and generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gay men and lesbians. A year after the uprising, to mark the anniversary on June 28, 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The anniversary of the riots was also commemorated in Chicago and similar marches were organized in other cities. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. The Stonewall National Monument was established at the site in 2016.

Today, LGBT Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots. Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising with city officials estimating 5 million attendees in Manhattan, and on June 6, 2019, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill rendered a formal apology on behalf of the New York Police Department for the actions of its officers at Stonewall in 1969..."

— Source: Stonewall Riots Wikipedia

Black Lives Matter Resources

Below is a list of Podcasts, Movies/TV, Books and places to Donate (if you're financially able) to get you started, but there are so many more resources out there! We encourage you to do your own research and share that information with those around you. 


PODCASTS (via Bello Collective & Stitcher):

CODE SWITCH – NPR’s flagship podcast about race & culture. Offers personal stories, historical context, and impactful analysis on the challenging past and present of race in America.

THE NOD – Hosts Brittany Luce and Eric Eddings explore nuances, struggles, and joys of Black life.

UNITED STATES OF ANXIETY – Explores the history of racial polarization in America.

THE STAKES – Limited series spun off from UNITED STATES OF ANXIETY. Works at answering the question “How do we create a society that works for more people?”

COME THROUGH WITH REBECCA CARROLL – Rebecca Carroll leads conversations about how race sits at the center of every issue in America.

AFROPUNK SOLUTIONS SESSIONS – Discusses Black culture, activism, and politics, while seeking immediate solutions to historical problems.

POD SAVE THE PEOPLE – Host DeRay Mckesson, an organizer and activist, analyzes current headlines and their deeper impact on race, society, and culture.

UNCIVIL – Podcast telling the untold stories of the Civil War, putting Black resistors in the spotlight.

EAR HUSTLE – Shines a light on life inside the systems of mass incarceration in the U.S.

70 MILLION – Series addressing mass incarceration and prison reform at local levels, including diversion, bail reform, recidivism, and the adoption of technology.



“How to be an Anti-racist” by Ibram X. Kendi

“Stamped from the Beginning," Ibram X. Kendi

"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin Diangelo

“So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Olua

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

“Sister Outsider” by Audre Lorde

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“The Case for Reparations”, various articles in The Atlantic


FILM/TV (via Vulture and Vox):

Just Mercy (film, free to stream everywhere through June)

13th (documentary, available on Netflix)

When They See Us (docuseries, available on Netflix)

I Am Not Your Negro (essay film, available on Amazon Prime)

16 Shots (documentary, available on Showtime)

Whose Streets? (documentary, available on Hulu)

Let the Fire Burn (documentary, available on Kanopy)

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 and LA 92 (documentaries, both available on Netflix)

Do the Right Thing (movie, available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, and YouTube)

Get Out (movie, available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, and YouTube)

The Hate U Give (movie, available on Hulu)

Dear White People (series, available on Netflix)

If Beale Street Could Talk (movie, available on Hulu)

American Crime (series, available on ABC and Netflix)

Mrs. America, ep. “Shirley” (series, available on FX/Hulu)



Reclaim The Block

Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. We do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise. DONATE!


Campaign Zero

Campaign Zero is a police reform campaign proposed by activists associated with Black Lives Matter, on a website that was launched on August 21, 2015. The plan consists of ten proposals, all of which are aimed at reducing police violence. The campaign's planning team includes Brittany Packnett, Samuel Sinyangwe, DeRay Mckesson, and Johnetta Elzie. The activists who produced the proposals did so in response to critics who asked them to make specific policy proposals. Many of the policies it recommends are already in place as best practice policies of existing police departments. Some of these include the Milwaukee policing survey and the PRIDE act. DONATE!


Louisville Community Bail Fun

The Louisville Community Bail Fund exists to not only bail out folks, but provide post-release support to get them from jail, fed, and to a situation of safety. DONATE!


George Floyd Memorial Fund

On May 25, 2020, my life shattered as I learned of the tragic passing of my dear brother, George. 

My family and I watched in absolute horror as the now infamous and horrifying video began to spread quickly throughout social media. What we saw on that tape left us shell shocked; a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on my brother's neck, obstructing his ability to breathe. As some officers knelt on his neck, other officers participated and watched; no one took any action to save my brother's life.  Those officers would continue to brutalize my brother until he died. This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George.  A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund. DONATE!


Justice for Breonna Taylor Fundraiser and Petition

Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She loved her family and community. She worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic. One month ago, a division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. Not a single officer announced themselves before ramming down her door and firing 22 shots, shooting Breonna 8 times, killing her. Not only were the police at the WRONG HOUSE, but the man they were looking for had already been arrested earlier that day. DONATE! and SIGN PETITION!


Black Visions Collective

Since 2017, Black Visions Collective, has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota. We aim to center our work in healing and transformative justice principles, intentionally develop our organizations core “DNA” to ensure sustainability, and develop Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns. By building movements from the ground up with an integrated model, we are creating the conditions for long term success and transformation. Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all. DONATE!


Black Lives Matter

#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives. DONATE!


Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund secures the freedom of New Yorkers who would otherwise be detained pretrial due to their poverty alone. We are committed to challenging the criminalization of race, poverty and immigration status, the practice of putting a price on fundamental rights, and the persistent myth that bail is a necessary element of the justice system. Leveraging our groundbreaking work as a charitable bail fund, BCBF joined with other community-based organizations, immigration advocates and legal services providers to form the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund program (NYIFF). Operated by BCBF, the NYIFF program secures the freedom of New Yorkers held in ICE detention who cannot afford to pay bond. DONATE!


North Star Health Collective

The North Star Health Collective was created in response to the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul September 1-4, 2008. We coordinated and provided health care services, resources, and training to ensure the safety of our community over the weeks before, during, and after the RNC. Thousands of community members and families attended protests against the RNC. DONATE!


Philadelphia Community Bail Fund

The mission of the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is to end cash bail in our city. Until that day, we post bail for our neighbors who cannot afford to pay. DONATE!


Equal Justice Initiative

EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. We are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning wall calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice, and we recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today. EJI provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform. We publish reports, discussion guides, and other educational materials, and our staff conduct educational tours and presentations for thousands of students, teachers, faith leaders, professional associations, community groups, and international visitors every year. DONATE!


Fair Fight, by Stacey Abrams

We promote fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights. Fair Fight brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications. Voter suppression of voters of color and young voters is a scourge our country faces in states across the nation.  Georgia’s 2018 elections shone a bright light on the issue with elections that were rife with mismanagement, irregularities, unbelievably long lines and more, exposing both recent and also decades-long actions and inactions by the state to thwart the right to vote. Georgians and Americans are fighting back. Fair Fight Action engages in voter mobilization and education activities and advocates for progressive issues; in addition Fair Fight Action has mounted significant programs to combat voter suppression in Georgia and nationally. Fair Fight PAC has initiated programs to support voter protection programs at state parties around the country and is engaging in partnerships to support and elect pro voting rights, progressive leaders. DONATE!


National Democratic Redistricting

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee is the centralized hub for executing a comprehensive redistricting strategy that shifts the redistricting power, creating fair districts where Democrats can compete. DONATE!