‘Here to stay’: Ida B. Wells Celebration Week wraps up with parade, statue unveiling

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 7:55 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 12:45 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -There may not be enough words to fully describe the legacy that Ida B. Wells has left behind, but Friday Mid-Southerners took time to recognize her many accomplishments.

“She’s a journalist, a schoolteacher and advocate for human and civil rights, a humanitarian, and fought against all the odds,” shared Yvonne B. Acey and Dr. David Acey, Memphis Memorial Committee members.

The Acey’s have spent years keeping her memory alive. On Friday they joined Committee chair Dr. LaSimba Gray and dozens of others in celebrating Ida B. Wells.

The festivities began with a parade down Beale Street and ended at Robert R. Church Park where a Statue commemorating Wells was unveiled.

“The first of its kind in the country,” said Gray. “Words cannot explain. It is a wonderful feeling of having achieved this. Ida B. Wells was always that person of courage who didn’t fear anybody or anything.”

Wells was known for her anti-lynching activism in the 19th and 20th centuries. She was also one of the founders of the NAACP.

Her courage continues to inspire African Americans to be advocates.

”Ida B. Wells to me is the reason that we all need to get out to vote. It’s necessary, it’s a serious matter,” said Pat Brady of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Wells’ statue is not far from where her office was once destroyed. She fled Memphis to escape but now she’s here to stay.

”She will not have to run anymore,” said Acey.

”This will preserve her memory. From now on until eternity,” said Gray.

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