Ida B. Wells-Barnett Birthday Gala 2017

Ida B. Wells-Barnett's Legacy Celebrated at 2017 Commemorative Banquet

  • Family members, honorees and guests at the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Commemorative Banquet

Judge Venita King Johnson, Washington County, Miss. (seated from left); her mother, banquet honoree Euretha King, president emeritus of the Ida B. Wells- Barnett Museum; and Laverne Jones, museum treasurer, pose with honorees (standing from left) Mayor Kelvin Buck, representing the City of Holly Springs; Dorothy Miller, deputy grand matron/lecturer, District 2, State of Mississippi, Heroines of Jericho; and state Senator Bill Stone.

The 21st annual Ida B. Wells-Barnett Commemorative Banquet was held on Saturday, July 15, 2017, in Holly Springs, Mississippi (Wells-Barnett’s hometown). The annual event highlights the legacy of Wells-Barnett, who was born into slavery in 1862 and later became a teacher, journalist and public speaker. Approximately 300 people attended the celebration at Rust College along with many of Wells-Barnett’s descendants to celebrate the life and legacy of the historic journalist who fought for racial and gender equality.

The guest speaker, Rev. Gwendolyn Nelson, pastor of Royston Chapel C.M.E. Church, delivered a powerful message on the value of education and perseverance. The event was hosted by the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation awarded scholarships to Marquelle Curne, Jasmaine Dean, and James Stinson. Three $1,000 scholarships are given each year to students at Rust College, (where Wells-Barnett’s attended school). In addition to the scholarships awarded during the banquet, certificates of recognition were given to many individuals and organizations for their service to the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum, including the City of Holly Springs and Alfreda Duster Ferrell (granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett).