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Ida B Wells Monument Chicago

Chicago Unveils New Ida B Wells Monument

Monument Unveiled To Activist, Journalist Ida B. Wells

Yesterday, the City of Chicago unveiled an Ida B. Wells monument. The monument named the Light of Truth honors civil rights icon, Ida B. Wells. Richard Hunt created the Wells sculpture now located in Bronzeville at the former Ida B. Wells Housing Project.

Wells was born into slavery on July 16, 1862, and became a prominent civil rights activist. At the age of 27, Wells became the co-owner and editor for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. Wells was known for her investigative reporting that covered racial segregation and inequality. Wells also documented and reported on lynchings in the United States.

As a target of threats due to her prominent exposés in Memphis, Wells moved to Chicago, where she continued her impressive civil rights efforts and eventually ran for Illinois State Senate in 1930 as one of the first black women to do so. She ran as an independent candidate but came in third. Wells was one of two women founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909.

Wells was also a founder of the Chicago Negro Fellowship League, the Alpha Suffrage Club, and was a director of the Cook County League of Womens Clubs. In 1893, when the Worlds Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago, African Americans were excluded from the exhibits. Wells worked with Frederick Douglass and other civil rights leaders to organize a Black boycott of the Chicago World Fair.

Ida B Wells Statue Unveiled In Downtown Memphis

About 200 community members gathered to celebrate the unveiling of the Ida B. Wells statue Friday in Downtown Memphis.

A life-size statue honoring the pioneering journalist, educator and civil rights advocate now stands at Beale and Fourth streets, adjacent to the original office of Wells’ The Free Speech and Headlight newspaper. The unveiling culminated a full week of festivities celebrating Wells life and legacy in Memphis.

Before the unveiling, a parade celebrating Wells’ 159th birthday she was born on July 16, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi marched down Beale from Main to Fourth. Carriages, Corvettes and musicians with clashing cymbals made their way along the parade route to the site of the ceremony.

As the bronze statue was unveiled, it was met with cheers, applause and drumming.

Descendants of Wells, Michelle Duster and Daniel Duster were among the speakers.

Michelle Duster, president of the Ida B. Wells Foundation of Chicago, thanked the people who have been carrying on Wells’ legacy through their work in Memphis.

The Rev. Dr. Alvin ONeal Jackson, executive director of the Poor People’s Campaign, was the keynote speaker at the event.

“You know, this day has to be about more than the dedication of a statue. You know, it has to be about more than that,” Jackson said. “This is a day, my friends, that we move from insurrection to a resurrection. This is a day to move from a moment of a monument to a movement that changes this country.”

Black Women’s Blueprint Is Partnering With Michelle Duster To Erect The Ida B Wells Monument

A monumental sculpture accompanied by supportive art pieces will be located in a park-like setting on the Langley Boulevard median, just south of 37th Street in Chicagos Bronzeville neighborhood. The Langley Boulevard median lies at the heart of the Oakwood Shores community, on the former site of the Ida B. Wells public housing development.

The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee has partnered with the Business and Professional People for the Public Interest . to commission the creation of a sculptured monument that will celebrate Ida B. Wells legacy and help increase public awareness of her important work within the Civil Rights movement. The sculpture will be created by Richard Hunt, a Chicago native and world-renowned artist. The abstract sculpture capturing the artists vision of Ida B. Wells and her legacy will be at least 20 feet tall, and will have a large base upon which an image of Ida B. Wells and excerpts of her writings will be engraved. Upon completion, this monument will be donated to the City of Chicagos Public Art Collection.

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Honor Ida B Wells With A Monument In Chicago: Be Part Of History And Give Support Today

My great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, made an impact on our country and was well-known during her lifetime for her activism regarding a variety of causes for African American and womens rights. In Chicago, for almost 60 years the name Ida B. Wells was associated with the Southside housing community which was named after her. When the housing community was eliminated in 2002 there was concern that the legacy she left behind would fade into memory.

In todays hyper technology-driven world things become outdated within a few days, so what happened a century ago can seem like the stone age. But, even though she died in 1931, Ida B. Wells is someone the country must never forget. Yes, the housing projects named after her are gone, but the former residents and a group representing different organizations formed a committee to honor her, the work she did, and life she lived in another form a monument.

During her career, she was co-owner of two newspapers, The Memphis Free Speech and The New York Age. After she moved to Chicago in 1895, she became full-owner of The Conservator, which was the first Black newspaper in Chicago. She lived, worked and raised her family in the Bronzeville neighborhood . The last home that she and her husband shared, located at 3624 S. King Drive, is now a national landmark.

MAIL CHECKS TO: MAIL CHECKS TO:

Ida B. Wells Monument Fund

c/o Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation

P.O. Box 19579 Chicago, IL 60619

Ida B Wells Honored With A Monument In Bronzeville

The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument unveiled ...
  • Tammy Gibson, Contributing Writer

The Ida B. Wells Monument was unveiled Wednesday at 37th & Langley among a crowd of spectators, public officials, Bronzeville, and former Ida B. Wells Home residents. The 20-foot-tall sculpture Light of Truth was designed by Chicago artist and sculptor Richard Hunt. The monument has three bronze columns, with spirals, coils, Ida B. Wells biographical facts, and one of her famous quotes, The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. The monument is the first in the City of Chicago to honor a black woman.

The monument was commissioned by the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Committee. Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, had to let the ceremony sink in that after 13 years of support from donors and hard work, the monument has become a reality.

After working on this project for over a decade, the reality that it is finished is still sinking in. I realized the other day that if the project were a child, it would be graduating from 8th grade now. I truly hope that the monument will be a source of pride for the Bronzeville neighborhood where my great-grandmother lived for over 35 years, as well as the whole city, state, and nation. Ida B. Wells spent her entire adult life fighting for justice and equality. This awe-inspiring monument, created by world-renowned Chicago native Richard Hunt, should inspire people to see their own power and continue her work says Michelle Duster.

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Monument To Activist Ida B Wells Unveiled In Chicago

Officially called The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, the commemoration created by sculptor Richard Hunt was dedicated in the South Side neighborhood where Wells lived out her life.

The monument has three bronze columns that support intertwined bronze sheets twisted into coils and spirals. One observer had trouble describing the abstraction at the top of the monument, asking if it was a hat or a crown of thorns. She was more certain about the columns.

It is interesting, spectator Roberta Trotter told the Chicago Tribune. I just want to know what the artist thinks before I say more. But I do see a strong base. That, I understandIda was a strong woman.

Granddaughter Michelle Duster said traditional busts and statues of Wells were considered, but she and others pushing for the monument preferred something interpretive, which she said projects Wells better than the literal.

The monument to Wells was financed by contributions made during a fundraising campaign over several years led by Duster. It sits on the site of the Ida B. Wells Homes, a housing project constructed in the 1930s, torn down in 2011, and replaced with market rate and subsidized housing.

Hopefully it becomes a point of pride to Bronzeville, the kind of thing people want to serve as a backdrop to their lives here, Duster said. Thats what I wanta gathering spot.

Congress Parkway, a major street in Chicagos business district, was renamed for Wells in 2019.

Chicago Unveils Ida B Wells Monument In Bronzeville

The sculpture is called Light of Truth and was created by Richard Hunt.

Wells was born into slavery. She became a prominent activist against segregation and lynching and she was one of the founders of the NAACP.

The monument is located at the former Ida B. Wells Housing Project in Bronzeville.

The statue was commissioned by the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Committee. It took the group several years to meet the $300,000 fundraising goal, which coincided with other efforts to honor her, including the renaming of Congress Parkway in 2019.

Her family said one thing definitely leads to another, pointing to the renaming of Lake Shore Drive after Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Black trader and first non-native settler of Chicago.

Were a very multicultural city and I think that the public structures and public tributes should reflect who we are as city and as a nation, said Michelle Duster, Ida B. Wells great granddaughter.

Wells spent a large part of her life working in Chicago as an investigative reporter covering racial injustice.

In a speech she once said, the way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them, giving rise to the name of the sculpture.

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New Chicago Monument Honors Author Activist Ida B Wells

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • 0

Okema Lewis, 67, wearing a shirt with images of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, takes a photo of The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, in honor of the journalist and civil rights activist on Wednesday. The sculpture is by celebrated Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt.

CHICAGO A monument to journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett was unveiled Wednesday in Chicago.

Officially called The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, the commemoration created by sculptor Richard Hunt was dedicated in the South Side neighborhood where Wells lived out her life.

The monument has three bronze columns that support intertwined bronze sheets twisted into coils and spirals. One observer had trouble describing the abstraction at the top of the monument, asking if it was a hat or a crown of thorns. She was more certain about the columns.

It is interesting, spectator Roberta Trotter told the Chicago Tribune. I just want to know what the artist thinks before I say more. But I do see a strong base. That, I understand Ida was a strong woman.

Granddaughter Michelle Duster said traditional busts and statues of Wells were considered, but she and others pushing for the monument preferred something interpretive, which she said projects Wells better than the literal.

Congress Parkway, a major street in Chicagos business district, was renamed for Wells in 2019.

Wells died of kidney disease on March 25, 1931, at 68.

Ida B Wells Monument To Be Dedicated In Bronzeville Wednesday

‘The Light of Truth’ monument honoring Ida B. Wells unveiled in Bronzeville

“Light of Truth” will be the first monument in the city to honor a Black woman.

  • Credibility:
  • As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom.×closeSources Cited

BRONZEVILLE Ida B. Wells will be honored this week with a monument on the former site of the housing development that once bore her name.

Light of Truth, a sculpture created by Richard Hunt, will be dedicated in special ceremony Wednesday morning at Oakwood Center, 3825 S. Vincennes Ave. Commissioned by the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Committee, the artwork was installed earlier this month on the site of the Chicago Housing Authoritys Ida B. Wells Homes, which were demolished in 2011.

It will be the first monument in the city that honors a Black woman.

It took the group several years to meet the $300,000 fundraising goal for the project, which coincided with other efforts to honor the iconic journalist and activist, including the renaming of Congress Parkway in 2019.

Wells was also the subject of a recent episode of WTTWs Chicago Stories, which aired last month. The series explored her connection to Bronzeville.

Dusters book, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells, was released in January.

Wells lived in Bronzeville for most of her life, just a few blocks from where the monument now stands.

For more information, contact Anthony Rogers at or Michelle Duster at .

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Ida B Wells Monument Is Unveiled In Chicago And A Neighborhood Turns Out Admiring Wondering Embracing It As Their Own

Celebrated Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt, center, arrives at The Light of Truth monument he created in honor of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells June 30.

Celebrated Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt, center, arrives at The Light of Truth monument he created in honor of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells June 30.

  • Antonio Perez

Flowers sit on the grave of Ida B. Wells after supporters placed them there at Oak Woods Cemetery on April 22, 2018, in Chicago.

  • Armando L. Sanchez

Michelle Duster, left, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, is embraced by Ald. Sophia King during a ceremony to unveil the renaming of Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library on Feb. 11, 2019.

  • Jose M. Osorio

Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, stands in front of Wells former home at 3624 S. King Drive in Chicagos Bronzeville neighborhood on July 25, 2018.

  • Chris Sweda

The Ida B. Wells-Barnett House in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago was the residence of civil rights advocate Ida B. Wells, and her husband Ferdinand Lee Barnett from 1919 to 1930, May 4, 2020.

  • Armando L. Sanchez

Crowds gather to view the Light of Truth monument in honor of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells June 30 in Chicagos Bronzeville neighborhood. INSET: Celebrated Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt, center, arrives at the Light of Truth monument he created in honor of Wells.

  • Antonio Perez
  • Antonio Perez

Its not that Im not a fan, she said.

Thank You To Everyone Who Has Donated Additional Donations Will Support The Creation Of The Complementary Phase 2 Elements That Will Complete The Monumentwe Envision A Monumental Artwork Honoring The Life Work And Words Of Ida B Wells Located In Bronzeville The Chicago Neighborhood Where She Once Lived Worked And Raised Her Family

The art is a tribute to a legendary African-American woman who made a substantial contribution to civil rights for women and minorities during her lifetime, and left a great legacy of published writings. The central sculpture, created by Richard Hunt, one of Chicagos most honored sculptors, invites reflection on Ida B. Wells writings and life, and provides inspiration to those who view this work of art. The monument is a part of the City of Chicagos Public Art Collection.

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