‘Ida B. Wells Place’ in Brooklyn?

Ida B. Wells (Photo by Mary Garrity via The Brooklyn Paper)

Gold Street between Myrtle Avenue and Willoughby Street in Brooklyn could soon be co-named after Ida B. Wells, the African-American journalist and abolitionist who spent her formative years in Brooklyn, writes Julianne Cuba in Brooklyn Paper.

“Her period in Brooklyn was very seminal in her life, but little known,” said Jacob Morris, a Manhattan-based historian who has successfully orchestrated the co-naming of dozens of city streets in honor of prominent black individuals. “It was here that she really grew as an advocate, thanks to all these fabulous women in Brooklyn.”

Members of Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee on Thursday unanimously voted 10–0 in favor of christening Gold Street between Myrtle Avenue and Willoughby Street as “Ida B. Wells Place” in recognition of the Mississippi-born advocate’s brief residency on the block in the 1890s.

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The influential investigative journalist — who along with Brooklyn Bridge mastermind Emily Roebling and other notable females recently received obituaries in the New York Times that honored their legacies long after their deaths — was born into slavery, and later moved to Tennessee, which she fled when a lynch mob that killed three of her friends turned its hatred toward her, destroying her newspaper’s office after she reported on its deadly attacks.

The proposal is now in the hands of CB2’s Executive Committee and if passed, heads to the City Council. Read more on the two-year effort spearheaded by Morris to recognize the journalist, in the full Brooklyn Paper story.

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