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Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells

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Journalist. Suffragist. Antilynching crusader. In 1862, Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize.

Ida B. Wells committed herself to the needs of those who did not have power. In the eyes of the FBI, this made her a “dangerous negro agitator.” In the annals of history, it makes her an icon.

Ida B. the Queen tells the awe-inspiring story of an pioneering woman who was often overlooked and underestimated—a woman who refused to exit a train car meant for white passengers; a woman brought to light the horrors of lynching in America; a woman who cofounded the NAACP. Written by Wells’s great-granddaughter Michelle Duster, this “warm remembrance of a civil rights icon” (Kirkus Reviews) is a unique visual celebration of Wells’s life, and of the Black experience.

A century after her death, Wells’s genius is being celebrated in popular culture by politicians, through song, public artwork, and landmarks. Like her contemporaries Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, Wells left an indelible mark on history—one that can still be felt today. As America confronts the unfinished business of systemic racism, Ida B. the Queen pays tribute to a transformational leader and reminds us of the power we all hold to smash the status quo.

ISBN-13: 9781982129811

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers

Publication Date: 01-26-2021

Pages: 176

Product Dimensions: 9.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Michelle Duster is a writer, speaker, professor, and champion of racial and gender equity. In the last dozen years, she has written, edited, or contributed to eleven books. She cowrote the popular children’s history book, Tate and His Historic Dream; coedited Shifts and Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls; and edited two books that include the writings of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. She has written articles for Essence, Refinery29, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, and The North Star.

Table of Contents

I Who Was Ida B. Wells? 1

Dangerous Negro Agitator 1

II Who Ida Was to Me 8

The Picture on the Living Room Wall 8

The South Side and More 10

A Different Path 12

An Unlikely Connection 13

Carrying the Torch 14

III A Voice for the People 17

She Shall Not Be Moved 17

In Good Company 28

Two Very Different Fights 34

See You in Court 38

The Power of the Press 43

The Birth of an Activist 52

IV How Ida Became Ida 57

Learning Strength and Defiance in Holly Springs 57

An Abrupt End to Childhood 62

V 400 Years of Progress 68

VI A Powerful Legacy 78

Defending and Embracing Our Authentic Selves 78

Speaking Truth to Power 84

Black Lives Matter 88

Working and Protesting Alone 93

Modern Mavericks 94

Organizing Together 100

Taking Control of Our Narrative 109

We Shall Not Be Moved 118

Self-Determination, the Law, and Politics 125

Housing and Support 127

Women Belong in the House and Senate and Every Hall of Power 130

Passing the Torch 133

VII Monumental 136

Acknowledgments 147

Sources 149

Image Credits 162

Index 164