The 21st Show

Protecting The Legacy Of Ida B Wells


Charles Rex Arbogast/ Associated Press

In 1955, after Chicago teenager Emmett Till was lynched and beaten to death on a trip in Mississippi, his mother Mamie made the decision to have the media cover Emmett’s open casket funeral. Many consider that decision a major factor in helping to ignite the civil rights movement. 

Decades earlier, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was documenting the many cases of lynching in the American South through her journalism. She also fought for the right for women to vote and was one of the founders of the NAACP. 

Even though the names of these civil rights leaders may be familiar, few of us may have considered the families left behind by those famous individuals. Now, generations later, those families are fighting to both protect and promote the legacy of their loved ones. 

Michelle Duster is the great-grand daughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett she joined us from Chicago. Lolly Bowean has written about this for The Chicago Tribune she also joined us.

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