Thursday, July 15, 2010
Event honors legacy of Ida B. Wells
By SUE WATSON
The annual celebration of the life of Ida B. Wells-Barnett was held last weekend with opening ceremonies at the Multi-Purpose Building in Holly Springs. Descendants of the famed human rights activist arrived to participate in the annual event which supports the museum named in her honor.
Ida B. Wells fought for rights for life and happiness and for rights of color and is one of Holly Springs’ most significant daughters, said Mayor Andre’ DeBerry in welcoming guests.
He encouraged guests to “enjoy the day and try to soak up the spirit of a lady and what it was like in her time.”
Wells has about 50 living direct descendants, among them writers, lawyers, computer experts, engineers, teachers and marketing experts, said her granddaughter Alfreda Duster Ferrell, who was joined by her daughter Janean Ferrell for this year’s celebration. Twenty rooms were available for out-of-town descendants at a local hotel, she said.
Wells was a mother of four, two boys and two girls.
Alfreda Duster Ferrell said many of Wells’ descendants help maintain the museum that honors her grandmother.
That includes support of the Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation, the presentation of the Ida B. Wells award, scholarships, and support of the museum, including a return home each year.
Ruth O’dell, daughter of the late Memphis judge Patricia O’dell, presented a quilt to the museum she made to honor Wells’ memory. Her daughter Nichole Taylor, cousin Bernice Johnson, and others joined to present the quilt to the museum.
A quilt exhibit was set up by the quilt club of the Holly Springs Federated Improvement Club. Other individuals displayed their art, including Gloria Gipson Suggs of Holly Springs.
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