Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
Henry Holt and Company
GODWINBOOKS (pub.1.4.2022) 48 pages
Author: Michelle Duster
Illustrator: Laura Freeman
Character: Ida B. Wells
"Ida B. Wells was an educator, journalist, feminist, businesswoman, newspaper owner, public speaker, suffragist, civil rights activist, and women’s club leader.
She was a founder of the NAACP, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, the Alpha Suffrage Club, and the Negro Fellowship League.
She wrote, spoke, and traveled, challenging the racist and sexist norms of her time.
Faced with criticism and threats to her life, she never gave up.
This is her extraordinary true story, as told by her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster and beautifully brought to life by Coretta Scott King Award Honoree artist Laura Freeman."
" One day in 1884, when Ida was in her early twenties, she was riding a train when the conductor asked her to move rom the 'ladies' car' to the 'colored car,' which doubled as the smoking car. She refused and was thrown off the train.
Rather than cower to the powers that be, she wrote about the incident in the newspaper and sued the Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad. She won the case and was awarded $500, even though it was appealed all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Almost two and a half years later, the ruling was overturned in favor of the railroad, and Ida B. Wells was accused of harassing the company."
And something more: Michelle Duster, author of Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth, worked tirelessly with a committee for over thirteen years to develop a monument in honor of her great-grandmother. The monument was installed in 2021 and located on the land where the Ida B. Wells Homes public housing community once stood in Chicago.