Posts Tagged Ida B. Wells

WNDMG WEDNESDAY – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO IDA B. WELLS

We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around
We Need Diverse MG Logo hands holding reading globe with stars and spirals floating around

Illustration by: Aixa Perez-Prado

 

Happy Birthday Ida B. Wells

This month on We Need Diverse MG (WNDMG), we celebrate the July 16 birthday of Ida B. Wells. The 19th -century journalist, author, and activist would be 160 years old this year.

Sepia toned photo of Ida B Wells - she wears a high-necked gown and her hair is up in a bun with curls framing her face. Her gaze is off to the side and wears a serious look.

Test Your Ida Facts

To honor her birthday, I’ve put together a little booklist and a quiz … see if you can guess True or False for each of these statements about Ida B. Wells (answers below):

  1. She was born into slavery.
  2. She was an elementary school teacher.
  3. She started her journalism career by writing for a white newspaper.
  4. She marched at the back of the procession in the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession.
  5. She campaigned for anti-lynching laws.
  6. She married young.
  7. She visited the White House.
  8. While riding on a train to work one morning, she was asked to move from the White car to the Black (Jim Crow) car. She did so quietly, vowing to dedicate her news career to fighting Jim Crow laws.

Profile shot in sepia tones of Ida B Wells, a Black woman with her curly dark hair in a bun wearing a lace ruffle shirt

 

Answer Key:

  1. T: She was born in 1862, before the end of the Civil War emancipated enslaved people.
  2. T: Her parents died of Yellow Fever when she was only 16. To keep her brothers and sisters from being separated and farmed out to various relatives, she pretended she was an adult and got a job as a teacher.
  3. F: She started her journalism career writing for a Black newspaper that was part of a social group she participated in, where they wrote and performed speeches.
  4.  F: March organizer Alice Paul asked to her to march in the back, to accommodate the wishes of the Southern women, but she refused. She marched in the middle of the parade along with the white women who had come with her from her home state of Illinois.
  5. T: She wrote tirelessly about the crisis of lynching, and she used data-driven investigations to bolster her call for anti-lynching laws. Her data clearly supported what the Black community already knew: that the number of lynchings skyrocketed after Reconstruction and that they targeted mostly Black men, but also Black women. She also gave speeches all over the country and in the UK to drum up support for anti-lynching laws, but they were never passed during her lifetime.
  6. F: She didn’t marry Ferdinand Lee Barnett until she was 33, which was considered old in her time.
  7. T: She visited President William McKinley at the White House in 1898 to lobby for her anti-lynching law.
  8. F: She did not quietly leave the white car for the Black car… she protested and refused. Ultimately, the train conductors threw her off the train!Black and white photo of Ida B Wells with her hair in signature bun and wearing a high-necked gown with a pin at the neck

Learn More About Ida B. Wells

  1. Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader, by Michelle Duster (Henry Holt and Co.) January 2022 *NOTE: Michelle Duster is Ida B. Wells’s great-granddaughter.

  2. Discovering History’s HEROES: Ida B. Wells, Fighter for Justice, by Diane Bailey (Aladdin) August 2019Amazon.com: Ida B. Wells: Discovering History's Heroes (Jeter Publishing): 9781534424852: Bailey, Diane: Books
  3. Who was Ida B. Wells? By Sarah Fabiny (Penguin Workshop) June 2020Who Was Ida B. Wells?: Fabiny, Sarah, Who HQ, Hammond, Ted: 9780593093351: Amazon.com: Books
  4. It’s Her Story, Ida B. Wells (Graphic Novel), by Anastasia Magloire Williams (Sunbird Books) November 2021

5) Indigo and Ida, by Heather Murphy Capps (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner) Launching April 2023

((COVER NOT YET RELEASED))

((Like booklists featuring activists and journalists? Check out this and this post from MUF))

Ida Fought Today’s Battles

Yes, you read that right — the last book on the list is actually my debut! I’m so excited to join the collection of books about this amazing woman.

My book, INDIGO AND IDA, illustrates many of the pivotal moments in Wells’s life you just read about in the above T/F activity. That exploration happens as my main character, Indigo, reads (historical fiction) letters from Ida. Indigo is a 21st-century middle-school journalist, but what she realizes is that many of the battles Ida fought during her lifetime are the same or similar to the ones Indigo herself faces.

Ida knew she would not be able to finish the social justice work she so tirelessly pursued her whole life, but with her body of work, she left a powerful legacy of activism for future generations to pick up and carry to the finish line.

Happy Birthday, Ida, and thank you.

 

World Press Freedom Day

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day, which celebrates the importance of a free press in a functional society. First organized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, it’s a day to commemorate journalists around the world who have fought with integrity for a free press.

Here at The Mixed-Up Files, we’d like to celebrate by shining a light on middle-grade books about real and fictional investigative journalists. If you have your own favorite middle-grade book about a star reporter, tell us about it in the comment section!

 

The News Crew, (Book 1: Originally The Cruisers) by Walter Dean Myers
The is the first in a series, which included: Checkmate, A Star is Born, and Oh, Snap! Zander and his crew are underdogs at DaVinci Academy, one of the best Gifted and Talented schools in Harlem. But even these kids who are known as losers can win by speaking up. When they start their own school newspaper, stuff happens. Big stuff. Loud stuff. Stuff nobody expects. Mr. Culpepper, the Assistant Principal and Chief Executioner, is ready to be rid of Zander, Kambui, LaShonda, and Bobbi – until they prove that their writing packs enough power to keep the peace and show what it means to stand up for a cause.

 

 

Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter by Beth Fantaskey

It’s 1920s Chicago—the guns-and-gangster era of Al Capone—and it’s unusual for a girl to be selling the Tribune on the street corner. But ten-year-old Isabel Feeney is unusual . . . unusually obsessed with being a news reporter. She can’t believe her luck when she stumbles into a real-life murder scene and her hero, the famous journalist Maude Collier. The story of how Isabel fights to defend the honor of her accused friend and latches on to the murder case makes for a winning middle grade mystery.

 

 

 

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan by Patricia Bailey

Life in a Nevada mining town in 1905 is not easy for 13-year-old Kit Donovan, who is trying to do right by her deceased mother and become a proper lady. When Kit discovers Papa’s boss at the gold mine is profiting from unsafe working conditions, she realizes being a lady is tougher than it looks. With a man’s hat and a printing press, Kit puts her big mouth and all the life skills she’s learned from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to work, defying threats of violence and finding that justice doesn’t always look like she imagined it would.

 

 

 

Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip

Adam Canfield has to be the most overprogrammed middle-school student in America. So when super-organized Jennifer coaxes him to be coeditor of their school newspaper, THE SLASH, he wonders if he’s made a big mistake. But when a third-grader’s article leads to a big scoop, Adam and his fellow junior journalists rise to the challenge of receiving their principal’s wrath to uncover some scandalous secrets. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and NEW YORK TIMES columnist comes a funny, inspiring debut that sneaks in some lessons on personal integrity — and captures the rush that’s connected to the breaking of a really great story.

 

 

 

The Truth About the Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler

When Zebby and Amr create the website thetruthabouttruman.com, they want it to be honest. They want it to be about the real Truman Middle School, to say things that the school newspaper would never say, and to give everyone a chance to say what they want to say, too. But given the chance, some people will say anything—anything to hurt someone else. And when rumors about one popular student escalate to cruel new levels, it’s clear the truth about Truman School is more harrowing than anyone ever imagined.

 

 

 

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney

Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at an herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.

Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified — horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.

 

 

Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told by Walter Dean Myers, illus. Bonnie Christensen

This picture book biography introduces the extraordinary Ida B. Wells. Long before boycotts, sit-ins, and freedom rides, Ida B. Wells was hard at work to better the lives of African Americans.

An activist, educator, writer, journalist, suffragette, and pioneering voice against the horror of lynching, she used fierce determination and the power of the pen to educate the world about the unequal treatment of blacks in the United States.

In this picture book biography, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of this legendary figure, which blends harmoniously with the historically detailed watercolor paintings of illustrator Bonnie Christensen.

 

 

 

Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids by Ellen Mahoney

In the late 1800s, the daring young reporter Elizabeth Cochrane—known by the pen name Nellie Bly—faked insanity so she could be committed to a mental institution and secretly report on the awful conditions there. This and other highly publicized investigative “stunts” laid the groundwork for a new kind of journalism in the early 1900s, called “muckraking,” dedicated to exposing social, political, and economic ills in the United States. In Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids budding reporters learn about the major figures of the muckraking era: the bold and audacious Bly, one of the most famous women in the world in her day; social reformer and photojournalist Jacob Riis; monopoly buster Ida Tarbell; antilynching crusader Ida B. Wells; and Upton Sinclair, whose classic book The Jungle created a public outcry over the dangerous and unsanitary conditions of the early meatpacking industry. Young readers will also learn about more contemporary reporters, from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to Amy Goodman, who have carried on the muckraking tradition, and will get excited about the ever-changing world of journalism and the power of purposeful writing. Twenty-one creative activities encourage and engage a future generation of muckrakers. Kids can make and keep a reporter’s notebook; write a letter to the editor; craft a “great ideas” box; create a Jacob Riis–style photo essay; and much more.