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Ida B. Wells gets her street — City Council approves renaming Congress in her honor | Chicago Tribune Chicago’s City Council officially renamed Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive Wednesday, making the prominent east-west artery the first downtown street named for a woman of color and honoring one of the city’s great activists.



An African-American journalist, Ida B. Wells-Barnett worked to expose lynching, pushed for women’s right to vote and started numerous organizations to help African-Americans gain economic and political power across the country.

For many years, Wells’ work was overlooked, even in her own time. When she died in 1931, The New York Times failed to write an obituary, an error in judgment the newspaper tried to address with a story earlier this year.

Near the end of her life, Wells attended a Negro History meeting but left disappointed because her storied career went unacknowledged among her contemporaries, according to her biographer, Paula Giddings, author of “Ida: A Sword Among Lions.”

But now with a major street renamed in her honor and plans to construct a monument to her in Bronzeville, the pioneering civil and women’s rights icon’s memory lives.


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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.

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