Bronze statue honoring Ida B. Wells to be unveiled this summer

Updated: Feb. 6, 2021 at 7:38 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This month we are celebrating Black History Month! And Friday, the Memphis Memorial Committee released new details on a project that will honor Ida B. Wells.

For more than six months now a project has been underway to create a statue of Ida B. Wells at the corner of Beale and Fourth Street.

Related | Group raising money to erect statue on Beale Street honoring journalist and activist Ida B. Wells

Wells was an African American civil rights advocate and journalist who fought against racism, segregation and lynching.

She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi but moved to Memphis in 1882 where she taught school and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspaper.

Wells left Memphis in 1892 following threats against her life.

But on her birthday, July 16, she will be brought back to Memphis through a life-size bronze statue created to honor her legacy.

The artist hopes this statue will bring healing to the community and those who visit the site.

“It has been my pleasure to research her and try to understand who she was first and then try to bring about an image that would help to provoke other people to want to know who she is. That is my hope for what this statue will be,” said Artist Andrea Lugar.

On July 16, there will be a parade down Beale Street in Wells’ honor. Then, the statue will be unveiled in a ceremony starting at 9:30 that morning.

Later that evening, there will be a pilgrimage to Wells’ birthplace of Holly Springs.

The fundraising for this project is $250,000. The Memphis Memorial Committee said they’ve raised about 55 percent of that.

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