Ida and the Deacons Fighting Back
A Moment In African American History
On July 10, 1964, a group of African American men in Jonesboro, Louisiana by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick founded the group known as The Deacons for Defense and Justice to protect young members of the Congress Of Racial Equality against Ku Klux Klan violence. This group of courageous African American men were established in the same vein as the defiant energies of Ida Belle Wells-Barnett to defend against mob violence and the wickedness of white supremacy. These men stood on the spiritual shoulders of Ida Belle. They were simply not going to turn the other cheek in the face of these white men who sought to harm the innocent African Americans striving to gain the rights due them as citizens of this nation. Today, I continue my salute to Ida Belle Wells-Barnett with a salute to the Deacons for Defense who carry on with Ida Belle’s legacy.