Saturday, July 17, 2021

Book Review: Ida B. the Queen

The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Stars: 3/5

I hate to give it the ill-defined 3.5 stars but I feel that I must. As a tribute to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, I read this book around the time of her birthdate, July 16th. I could recommend the same for you next year as you probably could read this book in a day or so. However, this is by no means a complete biographical account of the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett. This book gives just a peek into her life and attempts to convey comparisons between her vigilant acts for justice and modern day activism, in its many forms:

“...her tactic of truth-telling as a weapon to challenge unequal systems and structures has impacted our country for decades since.  Countless activists, organizers, journalists, and public officials have drawn inspiration from her life and the work she did to push the country toward a freedom that many people have never known.”  (p.67)

And with that, in this book, you’ll see references to Colin Kaepernick, Muhammand Ali, Jesse Jackson, Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, Stacey Abrams, and others…   Towards the end, with paged-sized photos and colorful art/illustrations, it took on more of a picture-book feel with pages turning over at a faster rate.

I do appreciate Michelle Duster’s work.  She is the great-granddaughter of Mrs. Wells-Barnett and Ida B. the Queen will continue to support her legacy and her crusade for equality and justice.  Like me, you’ll draw on the inspiration from reading this book and look forward to reading a fuller narrative of her extraordinary life.


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