THE LIGHT OF TRUTH: IDA B WELLS NATIONAL MONUMENT
BRONZE AND GRANITE
BRONZEVILLE, CHICAGO, IL
THREE TOWERS AND ELEVATED TRIANGLE FABRICATED BY VECTOR AT THE DIRECTION OF HUNT STUDIOS
Richard Hunt’s The Light of Truth, installed on the South Side of Chicago, in the Bronzeville neighborhood, is a 35ft tall bronze and granite monument dedicated to Ida B. Wells. Situated near the former site of the Ida B. Wells Homes public housing complex, and only a block away from where Wells-Barnett spent her life, this piece is an homage to the intrepid, prolific and now iconic Black journalist and publisher, as well as a powerful site for community gatherings.
Throughout her life, Wells-Barnett worked fiercely and tirelessly to advance civil rights for Black Americans; to seek justice for Black men who had been lynched by racist white mobs and authority figures in the South; and she relentlessly pushed for women's right to vote. Ida B. Wells started dozens of organizations to help African-Americans gain economic and political power in Chicago and across the country. Hunt's abstract art centerpiece honors her legacy providing viewers with a space for reflection on Wells-Barnett’s life and writings.
An abstract figure of shining, light bronze standing on three columns, the monument is a twisting, open, torch-like configuration over levitating stair steps, featuring an etched image of Wells-Barnett as well as some of her famous quotes. Standing under it gives a sense of its stature: the average person comes up to about a third of the height of the base.