Steele History 101: Girl Power

Steele History 101: Girl Power

This summer I participated in a road trip with one of my best friends. We flew from Chicago to Dallas, and then we drove from Dallas to Michigan; within 24 hours. Crazy right?! We even stopped at a few historical places. Briefly in Arkansas and Tennessee. You didn’t think I was going to do a road trip without history did you?

We decided to stop for a couple of hours in Memphis to eat and take in a mini tour. We decided to go on Beale St. We picked the right day. There was a live concert in the park, even though we weren’t able to enjoy it in its entirety it was cool to experience some of the city’s culture.

I was walking down the street and observed this historical marker. My face lit up because I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Ida B. Wells.   She was a visionary that didn’t apologize for her decisions, and that’s something to admire. I can remember watching a documentary that featured Wells, and it stated that she learned how to read by reading to her parents every night.  Literacy was clearly very important to them, and it made me think about my upbringing.

Every night I would read the newspaper to my grandfather. If I didn’t know a word I was instructed to sound it out. I wasn’t allowed to ask what something meant. I would have to grab the dictionary, and find out the meaning of every word. Not only did I learn how to read, but I read for understanding.

Sis. Ida’s story has taught me about being fearless, and truly sticking to what you believe in. Refusing to give up her seat on a train in Tennessee in May of 1884. She created her own path, and was able to do what she believe to be morally right. Her passion led her to launching an anti-lynching campaign, and many organizations that strived for the advancement of African Americans.

We can all learn something from the life of Sis. Wells.  She not only wrote about what she was passion about, she fought to make a difference.  Her activism is truly something to model if you want to see a change in this world.

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