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A walk through Birmingham’s history is being held this week to celebrate a civil rights hero.

Black Heritage Walks Network (BHWN) is organising the event to commemorate the Birmingham visit of African American activist Ida B Wells, a dynamic figure in the fight against slavery and oppression.

A daughter of slaves, the young revolutionary was born in 1862 and rose up to become an investigative journalist, author, feminist and anti-lynching campaigner.

Ida visited Birmingham in 1893 and 1894 to spread the message of freedom and racial equality for black people.

Network community researcher Dawn Carr, 52, will help lead the walk on Saturday, October 23. It will take in Edgbaston Community Centre, where a blue plaque commemorating Ida is proudly displayed.

Joining Dawn will be Garry Stewart, director of Recognise Black Heritage & Culture and Marcia Dunkley, a researcher and teacher. Saathi House and Migrant Voice will also join to learn about how people from former colonies settled in Birmingham.

Dawn said: “The walk is short but rich in heritage. Its titled ‘Passion for Justice’ which was Ida B Wells’s life mission.

“She was a simple, young black woman who settled in Birmingham, long before Windrush, and managed to influence and mobilise prominent British people.

“I admire Ida’s passion and bravery in the UK. She was a very articulate woman and used her intelligence to influence people. She showed an example of what women can do.

“Interestingly she empowered white middle class women in the UK who, because of their gender, didn’t have half the freedom she had.

“Ida B Wells fought against white domestic terrorism and domestic terrorism still exists today. From police brutality to George Floyd ‘s death.”

The walk will also illuminate Britain’s colonial past.

British Quaker activist Catherine Impey, invited Ida to the UK and hosted her in one of Edgbaston’s most elegant houses, which is now the community centre.

Dawn said: “We still have a long way to go in discussing black history in schools and general society.

“Our walks are very interactive and we get visitors from all across the world who love culture.

“Birmingham should be proud of its culture, we have to move on from mistakes of the past, but let’s highlight Birmingham’s rich cultural assets.

“We as a city should be proud of how we welcomed and supported Ida B Wells.”

The walk will take place on Saturday from 1 to 4pm, starting at Edgbaston Community Centre.

You can book a place on the historical walkabout on BHWN’s website.

Look back on the city from yesteryear with our Birmingham Weekly Nostalgia Email Updates.

This content was originally published here.

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