The Heat Is On!
Ms. Duster is a writer, speaker, and project manager who highlights the positive contributions of African Americans. She has written numerous articles and essays as well as the books, Ida In Her Own Words (BW Publishing, 2008) and Ida From Abroad (BW Publishing, 2010) which are the first two in a series that will include the writings of her great-grandmother.
Ms. Duster produced dozens of concerts, awards ceremonies, fundraisers and other public programs while working with various organizations including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Jewell Jackson McCabe in New York City. She also worked on documentary films Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice and A Question of Color, that examined intraracial tensions in the African American community.
In her effort to preserve the legacy of her great-grandmother, Ms. Duster is involved in several projects named after Ida B. Wells including a scholarship fund at Rust College (Ida’s alma mater) and the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum. She is also a member of a commemorative art committee in Chicago, which is developing a substantial piece of artwork that will be located in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The multi-dimensional piece will capture the life and times of her great-grandmother.
In 2009, Michelle partnered with two other writers to start a group called MuseWrite. They conduct seminars, speak at literacy programs, provide consultations, and offer critiques to help others develop their writing. She also is a founding member of the Chicago Black Author’s Network that is focused on creating and promoting work by and about African Americans.
She is a member of the Board of Directors with the National Public Housing Museum and the Chicago Area Women’s History Council. Her other memberships include the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Association of Black Women Historians, Association for the Study of African American Life and History as well as the National Women’s History Project.