An Ida B. Wells Biography, Written by Her Great-Grandaughter, Will Be Released in 2021

Michelle Duster poses with a portrait of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, in her home on Chicago’s South Side.
Michelle Duster poses with a portrait of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, in her home on Chicago’s South Side.
Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast (AP Images)
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Michelle Duster, author, educator, and the great-granddaughter of pioneering journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, announced that she will be publishing a biography about her great-grandmother’s extraordinary life and career. Ida B. the Queen is slated to be released in February 2021, according to One Signal Publishers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

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“After working on various projects for over 30 years, it is exciting to finally see my great-grandmother’s sacrifice and legacy be fully recognized,” Duster said in a statement. “Ida’s life is well-known in some communities, but Ida B. the Queen will introduce her to a wider and different audience. I hope her story will inspire people to live their own truths as Ida did.”

Per USA Today, Duster will collaborate on the book with Atlantic staff writer Hannah Giorgis.

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Duster has spoken often about Wells’ legacy, and previously worked on the books Ida from Abroad and Ida In Her Own Words. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Wells worked as a journalist and publisher who wrote a well-documented investigative account called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its Phases,” which was conducted at great risk to her own personal safety. She is also one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was a leader in the civil rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement.

A few weeks ago, Wells was honored with a posthumous Pulitzer Prize citation for “her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.”

Pronounced "Jay-nuh."

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What an amazing legacy to be in the lineage of! Cannot wait to purchase and read this! <3