In 2021, The Seattle Public Library is pleased to virtually present Michelle Duster, who will discuss her new book “Ida B. The Queen,” and consider Ida B. Wells’ impact on American history from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 25. Duster is a writer, speaker, professor, and the great grand-daughter of Ida B. Wells.

Library events are free and everyone is welcome; registration is required, visit the Library’s calendar to sign up for this online event.

In 1862, Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize. During her lifetime, Wells was overlooked and taken too lightly — yet she was a woman who refused to exit a train car meant for white passengers; a woman who brought to light the horrors of lynching in America; a woman who cofounded the NAACP.

“Wells was often underestimated but she was, and is, a civil rights icon,” said Stesha Brandon, Literature & Humanities Program Manager for The Seattle Public Library. “Michelle Duster offers a particularly unique perspective on Wells’ legacy because in addition to being a scholar, Duster is Ida B. Wells’ great-granddaughter.”


Duster is a writer, speaker, professor and champion of racial and gender equity. In the last dozen years, she has written, edited or contributed to 11 books.  She cowrote the popular children’s history book, “Tate and His Historic Dream”; coedited Shifts and Michelle Obama’s “Impact on African American Women and Girls”; and edited two books that include the writings of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. She has written articles for Essence, Refinery29, HuffPost, Teen Vogue and The North Star.


The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History is made possible by a generous gift from the late Priscilla Bullitt Collins in honor of her father, A. Scott Bullitt.

This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, media sponsor The Seattle Times and presented in partnership with The Elliott Bay Book Company.

This program will recorded, captioned and posted for 30 days on The Seattle Public Library’s YouTube page after the event.


The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

Limited in-building services are now available at the Beacon Hill, Lake City and Southwest branches, and will soon be available at the Broadview Branch on May 18. Visit the Library's Road to Reopening page for more information on Curbside Service, In-Building Services, book returns and other services.

Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information during this challenging time.