Ida B. Wells was born a slave in 1862 but was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation just six months after her birth. At 16, she found work as a teacher to support her siblings after losing her parents. A train ride at 22 would change her life trajectory. Wells was forcibly removed from a train when she refused to be moved to a car for African Americans even though she had bought a first class ticket and Wells started writing about the injustices she faced.
In 1892, she launched an in-depth report on lynching despite threats against her own life after a friend was murdered by a white mob. Her activism continued helping to establish the NAACP, then the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago, one of the first African American women’s suffrage organizations in the country.
About the Narrator:
Great Granddaughter of Ida B. Wells
Michelle Duster is the great granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, “I was born into an incredible legacy of somebody who spent her life fighting for me and everybody else to have the rights that she did not have for most of her life. It’s a huge source of pride for me.” Duster is an author, speaker, educator and activist for racial and gender equality.
She has written, edited or contributed to numerous books including Michelle Obama's Impact on African American Women and Girls. Duster’s current projects include a monument in her great grandmother's honor in Chicago, a book about Ida B. Wells’ life due out in February 2021 and a project highlighting black suffragists. Submit a Story