Street Smart Chicago

411 Seven Days in Chicago: All Is Wells

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Vaguely remember the name Ida B. Wells from your history lecture? If Deloris MeBain has her way, you’ll see that name on street signs, statues and parks. MeBain, manager for V. Holmes Entertainment’s Motown show, has set aside fifteen minutes during their concert on November 17 at the Harold Washington Cultural Center to honor Chicago’s anti-lynching activist with an intermission devoted to educating the audience on Wells’ legacy and inviting her grandchildren to the stage. “All I have to do is look outside to see her name being torn down,” MeBain says, referring to the building being torn down across the street from where she works, one that’s a part of the Ida B. Wells Housing Project. “There’s nothing being done to keep the name alive.” MeBain cites Wells’ bravery as an activist against lynching as well as her work as a journalist as inspiration for her own career. “Just growing up, you know the history. Sometimes in these areas you don’t have a lot of role models.”

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