Ida B. Wells Drive: More Than a Street

Michelle Duster SAVE THIS

A crowd celebrates the renaming of Ida B. Wells Drive (Photo by Jerome Rochelle)

African Americans have been an integral and influential part of Chicago from its very inception, when a Black man from Haiti named Jean Baptiste Point DuSable founded the “Windy City” in the 1770s. There is a long list of Black residents who have made a national and international impact over the past two and half centuries, with the most recent being Barack and Michelle Obama. This precedent of leadership was set by many, including journalist, suffragist and civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells.

Despite the incredible talent and contributions of African Americans, decades of restricted covenants and redlining relegated the great majority of Black people in Chicago to certain neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides. Today, the city remains one of the most segregated in the nation. As a result of this…

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  • cmodiano

    “Ida B. Wells is known as a pioneer in investigative journalism, and she uncovered and documented in great detail the facts of lynching.”

    Thank you for this article and this sentence. Not enough attention has been given to Ida B. Wells as a pioneering journalist and a model for future journalists. Wells never pretended there were “two sides” to lynching then, and self-respecting journalists shouldn’t pretend there are two sides to police terror today. her example should be taught in journalism schools.

  • Thank you for your comments about this article and the importance of Ida B. Wells’ work being taught in journalism schools. She should be. Her investigative and reporting techniques were exemplary and she used facts and people’s exact statements to prove her points.

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