MEMPHIS, TENN. — The legacy of Ida B. Wells has officially been memorialized in Memphis more than 130 years after she was run out of town for her work.
The new statue and education plaza in honor of the journalist who wrote about the lynchings and racial injustice was unveiled downtown.
The new plaza is located at the at the corner of Fourth and Beale streets
“Some people don’t want our stories, our realities, our perspective to be told or acknowledged, but between all of us here today in the spirit of Ida B. Wells, we will not be silenced,” said Michelle Duster, Ida B. Wells great granddaughter.
Silenced no more - Ida B. Wells has a permanent place in Memphis, the city where she found her voice as a journalist in the late 1880s when she took a stand against racial injustices.
It’s also the same city that didn’t always respect her work.
“She was part of an active and vibrant community of thinkers and leaders in this city, but because of her outspokenness and willingness to challenge the power structure, she was exiled from this city almost 130 years ago,” said Duster.
The Memphis Memorial Committee raised thousands of dollars for the statue and plaza to create a place where anyone could learn about Wells’ life especially younger generations.
“Because of her, I dream of reaching great heights and all children around the world too can know that no height is unreachable, and no feat is unachievable,” said M. Daniel Blakemore, Memphis student
On her birthday, July 16, the city of Memphis welcomed back the spirit of the crusader for justice by unveiling a new life-sized statue and plaza to honor Wells’s legacy.
It was a powerful moment for Memphians and Wells’s great grandchildren.
“Our stories will be told. our history will be celebrated. What you have created here with this Ida B. Wells statue, plaza is of national significance and the source of pride to Memphis and the country,” said Duster.
The plaza also includes this art installation called “Strange Fruit” acknowledging the anti-lynching movement along with four pillar highlighting various stages of her life.
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