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Let's Talk About It: Women's Suffrage: September: Ida B. The Queen

In January 2021, the Woodward Library was awarded a grant from the American Library Association and support by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This guide provides an overview of grant materials and upcoming programming.

September 2022 Program

Ida B. The Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Facilitator: Professor Eboné Amos

When: Thursday, September 1, 5:00 p.m.

Where: Office of Equity, Access and Inclusion (416 College St.)

About the Book

Ida B. The Queen Book CoverIda B. The Queen: The Extraordinary Life by Michelle Duster

 Call Number: E185 .97.W55 D878 2021

 ISBN: 9781982129811

 Publication Date: 2021-01-26

Written by her great-granddaughter, a historical portrait of the boundary-breaking civil rights pioneer covers Wells' early years as a slave, her famous acts of resistance, and her achievements as a journalist and anti-lynching activist.

Program Facilitator

Eboné AmosProfessor Eboné Amos

Eboné Amos is an assistant professor of African American Studies at Austin Peay State University. She received a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Dance Education from the University of Memphis and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance: Performance and Choreography at the Florida State University. Eboné’s research includes multi-disciplinary solo practices (writing, sound score, voice), the body as politics and creating work that fosters the cultural advancement and empowerment of the black community. Her pedagogical practice stems from the importance of accessibility within the performing arts.

Discussion Questions

Use the questions below to guide your reading and prepare for the session. (All discussion questions provided by the ALA.)

  1. Duster begins her book at a moment in Ida B. Wells’ life when her civil rights activism draws the attention of the FBI, who describe her as “one of the most dangerous negro agitators,” and results in her being denied a passport to attend an International Peace Conference in Paris. How does beginning the book in this way set up Duster’s exploration of Wells’ life?

  2. How has being the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells influenced Duster?

  3. How does Wells’ treatment during the 1913 suffrage parade draw attention to racism within the larger suffrage movement? What experiences and perspectives does she bring to the movement?

  4. Suffrage is one of many facets of Wells’ work as an activist. She also fought a legal battle against segregated train cars seventy-five years before Rosa Parks famously challenged segregated seating on public buses. What happened in Wells’ battle, and how did it set the stage for future anti-segregation activism?

  5. Wells was also an anti-lynching activist, after three of her friends were murdered by a white mob in Tennessee. How did Wells’ work as a journalist and newspaper editor help her draw attention to this atrocity?

  6. Duster illustrates her biography of Wells using archival materials—pages from Wells’ personal diaries, newspaper clippings, and legal documents. Which did you find most interesting? Did any surprise you?