Devah Pager, a Harvard sociologist who died on Nov. 2, demonstrated the tenacious power of race in hiring decisions. We looked back through our obituary archives and found five other women, some recently deceased, whose thinking had an impact on our understanding of race.
Ida B. Wells
Ms. Wells was a slave-turned-journalist who took on racism in the Deep South decades before the civil rights movement with powerful articles on the lynchings of black men. Drawing in readers with fiery language, she also pioneered investigative reporting techniques that remain central methods of modern journalism. Read her obituary here.