Signed Copy: Ida In Her Own Words: The Timeless Writings of Ida B. Wells from 1893
- Paperback: 104 pages
- By Michelle Duster
- Features a bookplate signed by Michelle Duster
In 1893, African Americans were deliberately and systematically banished from participating in the preparation and exhibition of the Columbian Exposition (World's Fair) in Chicago. The World Fair drew tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and the world, showcasing the innovations and progress of the United States.
This exclusion gave rise to protest. Here was an entire group of people who had been free citizens for almost thirty years, who had made important contributions to the development of the nation. A small group of four people contributed to a pamphlet entitled The Reason Why the Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition. Thousands of the pamphlets were distributed to inform people from all over the world who attended the fair about the injustice that existed in the United States.
Class Legislation, attributed to Ida B. Wells, and Lynch Law, written by Ida B. Wells, were two sections included in the pamphlet. These pieces give today's readers a glimpse into the cruelty and hypocrisy of the country at that time. The generation of African Americans who had hopes that the end of slavery would be the end of their injustice eloquently documented how those hopes had not come to pass.