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  • Date Submitted: 04/23/2012 09:27 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.5 
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Geneva Ford
APUSH
2nd period
“Progressive Reader Response”

In the early 1900's, America began to take on new ways of thinking. Americans were unsatisfied with the way things were, and they wanted desperately to make changes. These new found goals arose as more and more Americans began to realize that their country had many problems. The goals of this era included improving social welfare, making the country as a whole, a more moral nation, and undergoing economic reform in order to fix problems and expand democracy. This time period was known as the progressive era. The people who desired to write about the problems in society, in order to create change, were muckrakers. Three of these pioneers were Ida B. Wells-Barnett, well known journalist and newspaper editor, George Kibbe Turner, author of “The City of Chicago”, and Upton Sinclair author of “The Jungle”. These three writers highlight problems regarding lynching, prostitution, drugs, alcohol, and the horrible working conditions in factories.
At the first meeting of the NAACP, on May 9, 1909, founder Ida B. Wells-Barnett expressed her opinion about the racist crime of lynching in America. She explained in her speech that during the years 1899 to 1908, a total of 959 people were lynched. Of this number, 102 were white, while the colored victims numbered 857. She addressed that innocent people were being beaten, shot, and killed by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan for their race. In the speech, she gives a list of some of the reasons why people were lynched. Many were insignificant and included things such as bad reputation, unpopularity, using improper language, and more. She goes on to say that many remedies, over the years, have been suggested to stop the lynchings, yet they persisted, butchering men, woman, and children. She told the assembly that she wanted to find a way to establish a bureau for the investigation and publication of the details of every lynching, so that the public would know the truth...

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