A century before Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg urged working women to "lean in" by prioritizing their professional ambitions, journalist and activist Ida B. Wells risked her life by speaking out against lynching on both sides of the Atlantic. She fought for civil rights while she was single as well as after she wed at age 33.
As reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones details in a feature for The New York Times, Wells was "a sharp-tongued career woman uninterested in being tied down." Indeed, she made a name for herself in the 19th century as one of America's very first famous career women.
And she did not let love or romance distract her.
Even after she met the man she would marry in 1895, attorney Ferdinand L. Barnett, she kept her focus on her professional life: "She postponed the wedding three times in order to keep up with her rigorous antilynching speaking schedule," writes Hannah-Jones.