Author and Historian Michelle Duster to Give MLK Lecture on Feb. 16

January 18, 2022 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Michelle Duster is an author, professor, public historian, and champion of racial and gender equity. The great-granddaughter of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, Duster has initiated numerous local, state and national initiatives to honor Wells and other African American female historical figures.

Duster will present Black Suffragists and the Fight for Inclusion, this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture, on Feb. 16.

Duster has written, edited or contributed to numerous books that explore and celebrate the historical contributions of African Americans, including her most recent, Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells, which was released in 2021. She co-wrote the popular children’s history book Tate and His Historic Dream; and co-edited Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls; and Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism.

She has been a significant contributor to other media as well, working on documentaries for PBS; writing articles for TIME, Essence, Huffington Post, People, the Daily Beast and other print and digital publications; and appearing on MSNBC, CNN and CBS.

Duster has received numerous awards, including the 2019 Multi-Generational Activist Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from her alma mater, Dartmouth College. She teaches and tutors writing at the college level and currently is working on two children’s picture books and several public history projects that feature women trailblazers.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the Frick Center, Founders Lounge. Admission is free but registration is encouraged. For questions, email

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