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Let's Talk About It: Women's Suffrage

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July 2022 Program

"Ida B. the Queen" Book Cover

Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Ida B. Wells

Monday, July 16, 2022

Administration Building Annex, NSU-Broken Arrow

3:00 PM

LTAI: Women's Suffrage is a humanities discussion project from the American Library Association (ALA) and is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

About the Book

Further Reading

Discussion Questions

Use the questions below to guide your reading and prepare for the session. (All discussion questions provided by the ALA.)

  1. Duster begins her book at a moment in Ida B. Wells’ life when her civil rights activism draws the attention of the FBI, who describe her as “one of the most dangerous negro agitators,” and results in her being denied a passport to attend an International Peace Conference in Paris. How does beginning the book in this way set up Duster’s exploration of Wells’ life?
  2. How has being the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells influenced Duster?
  3. How does Wells’ treatment during the 1913 suffrage parade draw attention to racism within the larger suffrage movement? What experiences and perspectives does she bring to the movement?
  4. Suffrage is one of many facets of Wells’ work as an activist. She also fought a legal battle against segregated train cars seventy-five years before Rosa Parks famously challenged segregated seating on public buses. What happened in Wells’ battle, and how did it set the stage for future anti-segregation activism?
  5. Wells was also an anti-lynching activist, after three of her friends were murdered by a white mob in Tennessee. How did Wells’ work as a journalist and newspaper editor help her draw attention to this atrocity?
  6. Duster illustrates her biography of Wells using archival materials—pages from Wells’ personal diaries, newspaper clippings, and legal documents. Which did you find most interesting? Did any surprise you?

Additional Resources

Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice

Works by Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Web Resources