Ida B. Wells

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ A statue of journalist, teacher and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells will be unveiled as part of a week’s worth of events honoring the former resident of Memphis, Tennessee.

The life-size bronze statue of Wells, who lived in Memphis for 10 years in the late 1800s, is being erected at a plaza in downtown Memphis. The unveiling is scheduled on July 16, culminating a week-long celebration of Wells’ life and legacy that also will include a community prayer service, a parade and a visit to a prominent lynching site in Memphis.

Wells was a Black journalist and publisher in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She helped found civil rights and women’s suffrage groups while fighting racial injustices such as lynching. She died in 1931.

Born in 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Wells moved to Memphis with her sisters in 1882 to live with her aunt. She taught at two Memphis schools before becoming a full-time journalist.

Three Black men and friends of Wells were lynched in Memphis in 1892, and Wells wrote articles about it. Wells’ office on historic Beale St. was destroyed and her life was threatened for her reporting on the lynching.