Abstract

Antilynching activists in the United States have agitated to establish criminal civil rights violations for lynching for more than a century. Ida B. Wells, a renowned antilynching activist, tapped into and expanded upon existing transnational advocacy networks to mainstream antilynching rhetorics across borders in the late nineteenth century. This essay analyzes Wells's dispatches to the Chicago Daily Inter-Ocean during her 1894 transatlantic antilynching tour. I argue that Wells provides an example of how rhetors can mainstream social justice issues through transnational advocacy networks by refuting and recirculating key arguments, which in turn amplifies them to exert pressure on potential change agents. As activists work to stem modern-day violence that persists with frightening similarities to the lynching violence of the 1890s, Wells's strategy of amplification provides further insight into transnational rhetorical movement and efforts to mainstream social justice issues across borders.

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