|Ida B. Wells Wikimedia|
I Is For Ida B. Wells
Ida is one hell of a woman and a true badass to me. She was a journalist, a suffragette, a sociologist and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Holly Springs, MS to enslaved parents, Ida adored her father James, who after the Emancipation Proclamation, worked tirelessly for the advancement of black people. When her parents and youngest brother died during a yellow fever epidemic, 16 year Ida became a teacher so that she could keep her remaining five siblings with her.
Spurred by the inequality in salary between white and black teachers, Ida moved to Memphis, TN where she attended Fisk College during her summer breaks and became more active politically. She co-owned the anti-segregationist paper Free Speech and Headlight where she wrote articles and edited the paper's content. In 1892, three of Ida's friends were lynched. Their murders prompted her to investigate lynchings across the South and she wrote a pamphlet entitled "Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws In All Its Phases." Threatened, Ida bought a pistol and used her journalistic abilities to encourage blacks to leave Memphis.
Ida moved to Chicago and helped to organize a boycott of the World's Fair. She started working for the Chicago Conservator, the oldest black run paper in the city. During this time she met and married the paper's owner, Ferdinand Barnett. Ida became one of the first women to keep her own name in addition to taking her husband's. Her passion for women's issues led her to found the National Association of Colored women as well as the National Afro-American Council. She also helped to found the NAACP. Her work in Chicago for urban reform, suffrage and civil rights continued until her death.
|Jewelers Building Wikimedia|
J Is For The Jewelers Building
35 East E. Wacker aka The Jewelers Building is a Chicago historic landmark. Featured in the 2005 film Batman Begins and as the scene of a huge battle between Decepticons and Autobots in 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, this building has seen a lot since its construction in 1927. The first 23 floors featured a car lift and parking so the jewelers could come and go in safety.
There have been many famous tenants, including Mercury Records, which occupied several floors from 1953 to 1973. The most infamous would be Al Capone, who had a speakeasy in the dome at the very top. This same place then served as the showroom for architect Helmut Jahn. There is a current reconfiguration of the interior going on which sadly has removed many of the cool features like the car lift, but progress will out.
I hope you found Ida as cool I did. We can visit her house if you come to Chitown and we'll also take a spin by the Jeweler's Building. Thank you so much for stopping by. Happy A to Z, please visit my fellow challengers by clicking at the top right or here.