Nikole Hannah-Jones On Ida B. Wells | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Morning Shift

Nikole Hannah-Jones On Ida B. Wells

A monument dedicated to civil and women’s rights icon Ida B. Wells is finally coming to the South Side of Chicago.

Organizers used social media Monday — Wells’ birthday — to ask for donations, and 900 people pushed the effort past its fundraising goal of $40,000.

The granite and bronze monument will be designed and built by Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt and installed near Wells’ Bronzeville home by the end of 2019.

The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Arts Committee, a group co-chaired by Wells’s great granddaughter Michelle Duster, started fundraising years ago, but efforts were slow-going.

Over the last couple of years though, Wells and her legacy have been back in the spotlight as a nationwide push for monuments of historically important women gained steam.  

In March, for its “Overlooked” project, the New York Times published an obituary of the abolitionist, journalist and suffragist. In June, Chicago aldermen voted to rename Congress Parkway after her.

Back in 2016, four journalists came together to form the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, an organization dedicated to getting more journalists of color into investigative reporting roles and supporting them in their work.

Morning Shift talks with one of the co-founders of that organization about the fundraising efforts she helped propel this week, the forthcoming monument, and the legacy of Ida B. Wells.

GUEST: Nikole Hannah-Jones, investigative reporter for New York Times Magazine, co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting

LEARN MORE: After social media push, organizers raise enough to push for Ida B. Wells-Barnett monument (Chicago Tribune 7/17/18)

Ida B. Wells: Took on racism in the deep south, with powerful reporting on lynchings (New York Times obituary 3/8/18)




Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X