Michelle Duster

Michelle Duster

Keynote Speaker: Educator, Equity Advocate & Award-Winning Author Known for "Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells"

Michelle Duster Biography

Michelle Duster is author, professor, public historian, and champion of racial and gender equity who believes it is essential that the contributions women and African Americans made to the United States be told in a more complete and accurate way. The first twenty years of her career were in advertising, marketing, and program coordination. In the last dozen years Duster has written articles for several publications and wrote, edited or contributed to sixteen books. She has been active with various local and national public history projects, committees, and organizations that create, document and promote the many “untold” stories.

Her work has been included in TIME, Essence, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, People, Glamour, Daily Beast, and the North Star. Her most recent book, Ida B. The Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells was released by Atria/One Signal Publishers (division of Simon & Schuster) in January 2021. She has co-edited three books: Shifts: An Anthology of Women's Growth Through Change (MuseWrite Press, 2014) which was a finalist for two awards; Michelle Obama’s Impact on African American Women and Girls (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and most recently Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism (MuseWrite Press, 2020)

She co-wrote the children's history book, Tate and His Historic Dream (Highlights of Chicago Press, 2014) which was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award. Duster also edited two books that include the writing of her paternal great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells - Ida In Her Own Words (BW Publishing, 2008) and Ida From Abroad (BW Publishing, 2010).

She will complete several other writing and public history projects by mid-2023, including two children’s picture books: Ida B. Wells: Voice of Truth and You Dared. (Holt-Macmillan).

Duster has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, WTTW, CBS & CW as well as numerous radio shows. She works tirelessly to preserve the legacy of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, suffragist, and civil rights activist. She worked on the 1989 PBS broadcast film, Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice. Duster leads the family-run Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation, which awards scholarships to students at Rust College and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and provides resources and information to the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She worked with the local and state government of Mississippi to have signs put on Highway 78 to indicate the museum location. She is a member of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee where she served as co-chair for several years. The committee is developing an Ida B. Wells monument that will be located in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. The interpretive, soaring piece will be designed by world-renowned sculptor, Richard Hunt, andl capture the life and work of her great-grandmother. Duster also worked with the city of Chicago to have an historical marker placed and an honorary street named after Ida B. Wells at 37th and King Drive in 2019. In addition, she was involved in renaming the major downtown thoroughfare Congress Parkway into Ida B. Wells Drive in 2018.

In her efforts to preserve the history of other African Americans and women, Duster served as a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Women’s History Center for a decade and served as secretary for several years. She has also been a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History since 2009. She served on the Academic Program Committee from 2011-2018 and chaired the Film Festival Committee from 2013-2018, organizing a documentary festival that included 15-17 current films that focused on the African American experience. She is currently working on a mural project that will feature Illinois suffragists in downtown Chicago.

She speaks around the country at universities, churches, museums and other organizations about the importance of women telling their stories, the importance of representation in public history pieces, and the contributions that African Americans, including her great-grandmother, made to the United States. She has received numerous awards including the 2020 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Award from Illinois NOW; 2019 Multi-Generational Activist Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission; and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College.

Duster was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City. She also completed MFA coursework in film and video production at Columbia College Chicago, She teaches business writing at Columbia College Chicago and tutors writing at Wilbur Wright College, where she also serves on the Racial Justice Committee.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Michelle Duster and other top speakers and celebrities.

Michelle Duster Videos

P&P Live! Michelle Duster | IDA B. THE QUEEN
How To Change Public Perception with Michelle Duster

How to book Michelle Duster?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Michelle Duster for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Michelle Duster, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Michelle Duster or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Michelle Duster?

Booking fees for Michelle Duster, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Michelle Duster, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Michelle Duster?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Michelle Duster for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michelle Duster for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Michelle Duster or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Michelle Duster or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Michelle Duster is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Authors, Education and Teacher Motivation. The estimated speaking fee range to book Michelle Duster for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Michelle Duster generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dr. Sharroky Hollie, Donalyn Miller and Rodney Robinson. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Michelle Duster for an upcoming event.

Michelle Duster Videos

P&P Live! Michelle Duster | IDA B. THE QUEEN
How To Change Public Perception with Michelle Duster

Michelle Duster Reviews

  • Working with the team at AAE was seamless! The team responded to my inquiries by email and phone in a timely manner. I can imagine that this is a busy time for Michelle Duster with both Black History Month and Women's History Month back-to-back, along with the release of the book "Ida B. the Queen". However, I never felt like my communication was not prioritized. Finally, Michelle Duster's talk inspired our department and enlightened us on the legacy of Ida B. Wells as a sociologist. It was a phenomenal event put on by a phenomenal team! I cannot express enough gratitude for AAE! Thank you very much!
    University of Central Florida Board of Trustees - Mar 06 2021

  • Oakton Community College - Mar 18 2020

Michelle Duster Speaking Topics

  • From 1919 Black Awakening to 2021 Black Lives Matter Movement

    In this conversation, centered on her book Ida B the Queen and essay featured in Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America Michelle Duster, author, speaker, and educator will touch on the events leading up to, during, and following the race riots of the Red Summer of 1919. She will explain how the lack of implementation of solutions presented after that summer’s riots are tied to the current social and civil unrest.

  • African American Suffragists and the Struggle for Inclusion

    Even though the suffrage movement was focused on women gaining the right to vote, the battle was mostly fought separately along racial lines. White women shunned and marginalized African American women, which propelled them to form their own groups. Author, speaker, and educator, Michelle Duster explains the racial divisions that her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, and other suffragists experienced and how the struggle for African American women to be included extends to today’s struggle for inclusion in the documentation and commemorations of the movement as well as current voting rights.

  • Ida B. Wells and Family Legacy of Determination, Education & Agitation

    Author, speaker and educator, Michelle Duster will discuss the work and legacy of her paternal great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, and the multi-generational family efforts to make sure her ancestor's contributions to the country are recognized and honored. The author of Ida B the Queen has worked on a PBS documentary film, edited two books that include her ancestor's writing, a Chicago monument, an honorary street name, a public marker, and a major downtown Chicago street. She consults on other national projects that feature her ancestor. In addition, she manages the Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation which provides college scholarships and supports public history projects that include Ida B. Wells.

    Ida B. Wells lived through violent and lawless times which is explained and discussed. The composition of the audience determines the level of detail and selection of images that will be included.

  • Preserve and Celebrate Your Own History of Family, Community or Institutions

    Author, speaker and educator, Michelle Duster will discuss how it is possible to take control of your own story and document personal, family, community or institutional history. She will discuss what was involved in researching her book Ida B the Queen, but also more personal booklets that she created for family reunions and extensive obituaries that documented and captured detailed information about family members. She explains how various mediums and techniques can be used to document, preserve, and promote history.

  • Creating Racial and Gender Equity in Statutory Form

    The history of the United States that is represented through monuments, murals, markers, cultural sites, and naming of public spaces is dominated by white men. The lack of equitable mention or inclusion of women and minorities creates a false narrative for our country. Author, speaker, and educator, Michelle Duster will discuss the work she has done to shine light of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, and other women leaders and trailblazers. She will explain the process involved with the creation of a monument, historical marker, major street renaming, honorary street name, and substantial mural.

How to book Michelle Duster?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Michelle Duster for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Michelle Duster, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Michelle Duster or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Michelle Duster?

Booking fees for Michelle Duster, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Michelle Duster, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Michelle Duster?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Michelle Duster for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michelle Duster for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Michelle Duster or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Michelle Duster or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Michelle Duster is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Authors, Education and Teacher Motivation. The estimated speaking fee range to book Michelle Duster for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Michelle Duster generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dr. Sharroky Hollie, Donalyn Miller and Rodney Robinson. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Michelle Duster for an upcoming event.

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