Ida B. Wells - Feminist writer and political activist.
Born into slavery, at the age of 16 she became an orphan. To support herself and siblings she became a teacher at 16 pretending that she was in fact 18. She put herself through university and became a writer, editor of her own news publication and a political activist on racial injustice. Following the lynching of two friends, she became the first to conduct research on when, why and how lynching was applied as a ‘law enforcement’ tool. She wrote, “Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob.’” She systematically went about making the world know this. Her life was threatened on numerous occasions and she became an internal exile within America but continued to tirelessly campaign.
I just looked her up on Wikipedia and found out she was also one of the founders of the NAACP.