The Plot Thickens: Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader

In a world where stories that expand our understanding of Blackness throughout Western history are attacked by people who want to erase any sign of our brutalized humanity, any and all forms of storytelling about our most vocal figures are necessary. Lucky for us, one author—Michelle Duster—has written two stories about her great-grandmother within a one-year span. That great-grandmother? Ida B. Wells, of course.

While The Plot Thickens covered the 2021 release, we are thrilled to see this new book focuses on key components of this strong activist’s life with fine illustrations provided by Laura Freeman. In picture book format, Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s life leaps off the page and into your brain in a way that could only be comparable to an onscreen adaptation of her life. Readers young and old alike will take inspiration and heart from the trials and triumphs she made during her life under circumstances that unfortunately mirror many of the battles for basic human rights we see today. In making sure that the spirit of advocacy and Black liberation is renewed for different audiences on a regular basis, the team behind Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader ensures that readers find this leader’s prolific life on many a bookshelf. As a Tennessean who has found out about stories of historical Black leaders in the state long after gaining an education there, I find Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s courage to challenge dominant white supremacy provided a lens into a history that I always suspected existed but never had any evidence for. Hopefully, readers will find similar value in these texts for years to come. In spite of all that has been erased, the carrying of these stories will continue to live on.