Girls’s Historical past Month: Ida B. Wells’ lasting legacy on Chicago


CHICAGO — Ida B. Wells was born into slavery close to the tip of the Civil Battle and devoted her life’s work to combating racism and inequality. She was additionally a fierce advocate for African American girls. In celebration of Girls’s Historical past Month, the legacy of Ida B. Wells, she is one in all Chicago’s Very Personal.

Dan Duster and Michelle Duster talked to WGN about Wells — their nice grandmother.

As an educator, a journalist and fierce promoter for civil rights, Wells spent most of her life crusading for justice and equality for Black folks, in addition to girls, from the late 1800s by the early twentieth century. 

“The extra I discovered about simply the realities of ladies on the whole however African American girls particularly the extra extraordinary my nice grandmother appeared to me,” Michelle Duster stated.

Wells was a drive to be reckoned with particularly within the girls’s’ suffrage motion the place white girls ostracized her due to her stance in opposition to lynching.  

Wells didn’t let that cease her and based the Nationwide Affiliation of Coloured Girls’s Membership and the Alpha Suffrage Membership right here in Chicago, the primary to advertise the efforts for Black girls to vote.  

Wells was born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi throughout the Civil Battle in 1862. 

Studying the worth of training from her dad and mom, she enrolled in traditionally black, Rust School, solely to be expelled after an argument with the college’s president. 

She later moved to Memphis Tennessee and began the Memphis Free Speech newspaper. 

After a buddy was lynched by a white mob, she started writing a collection of columns and used it as a instrument expose racial injustice. 

After demise threats and the burning of her press, Wells relocated to Chicago. The house she shared together with her husband Ferdinand and their kids, right here on South Martin Luther King Drive, is now a nationwide landmark. 

The Dusters say wells doesn’t get the popularity she deserves for what she fought for and completed in her lifetime. Paving the best way for African Individuals who got here after her.   

This monument, known as “The Mild of Fact ” was unveiled final yr in her honor on the website of the previous Ida. B. Wells Properties and town renamed Congress Parkway in her honor in 2018.

The household continues their efforts to honor their nice grandmother by the Ida B. Wells Basis.

And nice granddaughter Michelle, has written and edited a number of books, together with her nice grandmother’s authentic writings, “Ida In Her Personal Phrases.”   

However that is her newest honor: The Ida B Wells, Barbie doll, launched by Mattell earlier this yr as a part of its “Girls Inspiring Girls” collection. It’s a duplicate of Wells holding an version of the newspaper she owned. 

“We have been like yeah a doll, that might work as a result of that might assist a youthful era find out about her and be uncovered to her,” Michelle Duster stated.

And the Dusters aren’t executed educating people on that interval in American historical past.  

Ida B. Wells, is one in all Chicago’s Very Personal. 

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