Michelle Duster recounts the remarkable life of journalist-activist Ida B. Wells.
On this week’s episode, Michelle Duster discusses Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells (One Signal/Atria, Jan. 26), “a warm remembrance of a civil rights icon” (Kirkus). Duster is the author or co-author of nine books, including Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls. She is a public speaker, professor, activist, and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells.
Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862, Wells spent much of her 68 years on earth fighting for racial justice, suffrage, and the empowerment of African Americans. She was a teacher, journalist, caregiver, and community organizer whose newspaper columns and public speeches had tremendous impact. She met with Presidents McKinley and Wilson to petition for federal anti-lynching laws and the advancement of African Americans.
Frederick Douglass called Wells “a brave woman” who never shied from speaking up against all forms of injustice. As Duster lovingly shows, her great-grandmother’s legacy lives on in the brave acts of athletes, artists, politicians, and others working towards equality and peace.
Duster and host Megan Labrise discuss the life and times of Ida B. Wells; how Wells consistently spoke up against injustice; how she balanced personal life and front-page activism; the losses she suffered for speaking out; Duster’s own journey to self-discovery and activism; and why she decided to write this book.
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
We Wait for the Sun by Dovey Roundtree Johnston and Katie McCabe, illus. by Raissa Figueroa (Roaring Brook)
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe (Putnam)
Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld (Simon & Schuster)
Summerwater by Sarah Moss (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Also mentioned in this episode:
Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Roundtree Johnston (Algonquin)
Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid (Tu Books)
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.