Major Downtown Chicago Street to Be Renamed After Ida B. Wells

The renaming, which comes amid Black History Month, remembers the pioneering journalist, civil rights activist and suffragist

For the first time ever, a major downtown Chicago street will be named in honor of a black woman — Ida B. Wells.

A dedication ceremony is set to take place Monday morning changing Congress Parkway to Ida B. Wells Drive.

The renaming, which comes amid Black History Month, remembers the pioneering journalist, civil rights activist and suffragist.

Wells was born a slave in 1862. Once slavery ended, she went to college and eventually became a teacher in her native Mississippi before moving to Memphis for a higher paying teaching job.

According to her foundation, while riding a train, she was forcibly removed by three men when she refused to move to a car for blacks only. She decided to sue the railroad and write an article about her experience.

From there, Wells was inspired to change her career and became a journalist, settling in Chicago in 1895.

Now, 88 years after her death, her name will take the place of Congress Parkway in downtown Chicago.

City Council passed the naming ordinance in July.

A ceremony and street sign unveiling is slated to take place at 10:45 a.m. Monday at the Harold Washington Library.

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