BRONZEVILLE — A morning meditation commemorating Ida B. Wells’ 159th birthday will be held at the monument bearing her name this weekend.
The event, hosted by the family-run Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation, will start 7 a.m. Friday at 3700 S. Langley Ave. Chicago journalist Sylvia Ewing will lead participants in the one-hour guided mediation. No prior experience is necessary to take part.
Wells was a Black woman who became famous for her investigative journalism and her work in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. She worked and lived in Chicago for many years, dying here in 1931.
“We hope the Ida B. Wells National Monument will not only pay tribute to her life, work and legacy, but also be a source of pride and inspiration for the community and city,” Michelle Duster, Wells’ great-granddaughter, said in a statement. “On July 16th (Ida’s 159th birthday) we want those who start the day with meditation at the monument to collectively experience the space, reflect on my great-grandmother Ida B. Wells’ life and all she fought for, and gain a sense of peace and focus on what their own strengths are.”
Dan Duster, a descendent of Wells, said the idea for the meditation came after last month’s unveiling ceremony for his great-grandmother’s monument. The monument is part of the foundation’s effort to educate people about Wells’ work and legacy.
“We’ve had a hard year, so we want people to take this time to reflect: ‘What’s currently happening? What can we do about it?'” said Duster, who is heading to Memphis this weekend for another unveiling ceremony honoring Wells. “It’s about striking a delicate balance between calling for action and having peace of mind.”
Participants are encouraged to bring a blanket or a comfortable folding chair.
The monument is also a scheduled stop along the CRR 19 Bike Tour, an event commemorating the 1919 Race Riot, on July 24. Duster is scheduled to speak onsite during the tour.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.