Plans revealed for first-ever Ida B. Wells statue in Memphis

Memphis, Tenn. — Earlier on FOX13 News at 5 we told you about plans to honoring Ida B. Wells, a journalist and a true pioneer for civil rights in the midsouth and beyond.

Today a group of community leaders gave us a first look at plans for the monument at Beale St. and Fourth St.

A cardboard cutout of Ida B. Wells posted in the exact spot that will soon be home to her statue.

“I am saying that to erect a statue of Ida B. Wells needs to be more than just a project because there are so many folks who don’t know of Ida B. Wells,” Pastor Lasimba Gray said. “Then there so many who painfully know how she was treated in this town.”

Friday organizers overseeing the statue project gave an update on where they are with fundraising and events that will lead up to the historic unveiling of the statue honoring Wells.

Wells, born in Holly Springs, Mississippi and educated at Rust College, came to Memphis in the late 1800s to start a newspaper centered on the injustices and lynchings of Black men.

RELATED: New Ida B. Wells Plaza in the works near Beale Street

Wells left Memphis in the early 1900′s after receiving threats on her life for her work.

“She left here and ended up in New York City and then permanently in Chicago,” Gray said.

According to several sources, this will be the first statue of Wells in the country.

It will be the first statue on Beale Street to honor a woman.

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The statue is scheduled to be unveiled on her birthday in July.

“We know she went back to Little Rock, Arkansas, and saved 12 men from being killed for being wrongfully accused,” Gray said.

Organizers announced they are well on the way to their goal of 250 thousand dollars to complete the project. So far they have raised more than 146 thousand dollars.

Several community and ceremonial events will happen in the days leading up to the unveiling of the statue.

“She never stopped fighting, and she became an international crusader for that,” Gray said.