Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells

She’s small, standing in her full skirt

Between the music of Beale and the bells of the Baptist church.

Ida B Wells, a fierce warrior,

Teacher and writer, roaring advocate

for those hung out to dry, to die.

Travon, George, Ahmaud, Brianna…

Their voices calling up from earth’s embrace,

A collective memory, a longing, a choir of hope-

one day that small woman’s courage will rise up

And do the laundry one last time- washing injustice from

Top to bottom, north to south, east to west,

Hanging righteousness under the sun- clean and free.

Elaine Blanchard is a writer, social activist, and ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination. She moved to Memphis in 1994. She and her wife, Anna, are proud Midtown Memphians.

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