Civil rights activist, Ida B Wells has become the first black woman to have a statue of her, erected in Chicago. Last week, the city of Chicago unveiled the Ida B. Wells monument on the city’s south side. Located on 3724 S Vincennes Ave, It’s the city’s first monument dedicated to a Black woman. It stands as the second tribute overall to a Black woman in Chicago. “We’re a very multicultural city and I think that the public structures and public tributes should reflect who we are as city and as a nation,” Michelle Duster, Ida B. Wells’ great granddaughter, told ABC News.
Also, this year, Duster released Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells to celebrate the life and legacy of her grandmother.
Officially known as The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, the commemoration is located in Chicago’s Bronzeville community and was created by Black sculptor Richard Hunt. It stands on the land of the former Ida B. Wells Housing Project — a construction developed to house Black families although the homes were demolished in 2011. Now, the area serves as a memory of where Wells spent most of her life as an investigative journalist in Chicago.
The Contributions Of Ida B Wells
“Most people still don’t know what she did,” said Daniel Duster, great grandson of Ida B Wells. “And so the fact that Chicago has decided to honor her and it’s been 13 years in the making, I have a feeling of joy, excitement, appreciation and humbleness.”
Wells was a renowned journalist, activist, and newspaper editor. She co-owned The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight and became known as a truth teller. She used her writing talents to shed light on the lynching of African Americans across the South in the late 19th century, The Associated Press reported. Her 1892 speech inspired the name of the sculpture. In her speech, she said, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”