The 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 200 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).