African Americans were deliberately and systematically eliminated from participating in the
preparation and exhibition of the Columbian Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1893. This event, which
took place in Chicago, Illinois drew tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and world
to showcase the innovations and progress of the United States.
A small group of four people contributed to a pamphlet entitled The Reason Why the Colored
American is not in the World’s Columbian Exposition. Thousands of pamphlets were distributed to
inform people who attended the fair from all over the world about the injustice that existed in the
Class Legislation, attributed to Ida B. Wells, and Lynch Law, written by Ida B. Wells, were two
sections included in the pamphlet and are reprinted as part of this great book Ida: In Her Own
Words. The pieces give a glimpse for today’s readers to understand the cruelty and hypocrisy of the
country at that time. The generation of African Americans who had hopes that the end of slavery
would be the end of their injustice eloquently documented how those hopes had not come to pass!