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5 Things You Should Know About Pioneering Journalist And NAACP Co-Founder Ida B. Wells

5 Things You Should Know About Pioneering Journalist And NAACP Co-Founder Ida B. Wells

In recent decades, Wells has been recognized with various honors, including scholarships, awards and postage stamps bearing her name or likeness. The New York Times recently published an obituary of Wells along with other women who were “overlooked” by the paper during its long history. While her death in 1931 was indeed overlooked by the paper, her life was not. The Times once referred to Wells as “a slanderous and nasty-nasty-minded Mulatress” for her anti-lynching journalism.

Ironically or perhaps appropriately, New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, the founder of “The 1619 Project,” draws inspiration from Wells’ legacy, calling Wells her “spiritual godmother.” On the same day that Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her lead essay in “The 1619 Project,” Wells was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer for Outstanding and Courageous Reporting. Hannah-Jones has honored Wells’ legacy in several ways, including co-founding the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting in 2016. Additionally, Hannah-Jones adopted the screen name “Ida Bae Wells” for her active Twitter account.

The honors posthumously bestowed upon Wells and the modern journalists and activists such as Hannah-Jones who remain inspired by her ensure that the legacy of Ida B. Wells will remain strong for years to come.

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