Faculty Member Michelle Duster Lends Her Voice as Ida B. Wells

Business and Entrepreneurship faculty member and author Michelle Duster voices the words of her great-grandmother Ida B. Wells in “The Daily” podcast. As part of their ongoing “Overlooked” series, The New York Times published Wells’ obituary more than 85 years after her death.

On The New York Times “The Daily” podcast, Business and Entrepreneurship faculty member Michelle Duster voices the words of her great-grandmother Ida B. Wells, anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, and journalist.

Wells, who died in 1931 in Chicago, never received an obituary in The New York Times, until now. In a project called “Overlooked” led by the digital editor for the obituaries desk, Amisha Padnani, the paper is now adding posthumous obituaries of remarkable women in history. According to The New York Times, their obituaries since 1851 have been dominated by white men. 

“The Daily” podcast calls Wells’s anti-lynching journalistic work as responsible for creating the “blueprint of investigative journalism.” Wells, regarded as one of the most prominent African-American women in American history, was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Duster, great-granddaughter of Wells, edited the booksIda In Her Own Words and Ida From Abroad. Duster is working with the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee to memorialize Wells in bronze. The monumental artwork will be located at 37th and Langley in Bronzeville, the Chicago neighborhood where she once lived, worked, and raised her family.

For the past five years, Duster has worked on an anthology of writings by African-American women about the work and media portrayal of Michelle Obama. The book, Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls, is scheduled to be released in 2018.

Listen to the podcast here.