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.

Phyllis R. Klotman, Katie Cannon, Ida B. Wells, African American Vote, Black Vote, African American Politics, Black Politics, The FIVE FIFTHS, TheFIVEFIFTHS, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, Willoughby Avenue

1862–1931

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.


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