On Monday, May 4, 2020, NAACP Co-Founder Ida B. Wells was posthumously awarded a 2020 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
"This honor is a testament to her long-standing work and contributions to this country. The only thing she really had was the truth. She used journalism as a tool to not just report what was going on, but she used her skill as a journalist, to the best of her ability, to impact social change." - Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Wells.
Also awarded a Pulitzer on this day was Waterloo, Iowa native, Nikole Hannah-Jones. Jones won for her controversial essay for the New York Times Magazine's "The 1619 Project" which marked the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving on the shores of what became the United States of America.
Hannah-Jones says this on winning a Pulitzer the same day as Wells:
I've been trying to come up with sentences worthy of summing up how it felt to be awarded a Pulitzer on the same day as Ida B. Wells for a project I led on the legacy of slavery for the New York Times, a newspaper that in 1894 called Wells a "slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress." Everything I try to say feels inadequate. I WOULD NOT BE without her. She never got the recognition she deserved when she was living...
Learn more about Wells and the Pulitzer awards here: