CHICAGO (AP) — It’s now official, Ida B. Wells Drive is a major downtown Chicago thoroughfare, the first in the area to carry the name of an African-American woman.

Ida B. Wells’ great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster, said Monday she had to remind herself to breathe and take it all in as she walked to the official renaming ceremony. She called the honor a “really big achievement.”

FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2011 file photo, Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells who led a crusade against lynching during the early 20th century, holds a portrait of Wells in her home in Chicago’s South Side. Historically, black women have been no strangers to the quest for social change. But historians say they have often been overshadowed, first by white women during the suffragette movement and then by the black men who were lionized during the civil rights movement. A new generation of black women is now moving to take and keep a place at the forefront of the fight against racial bias. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Born into slavery in Mississippi, Wells became a schoolteacher and created the first kindergarten for black children. She settled on Chicago’s South Side in 1894 after her life was threatened.

Also known by her married name, Ida B. Wells-Barnett became an investigative journalist who crusaded against the lynching of black people. She also pushed for women’s right to vote. When approved, the 19 Amendment mostly benefited white women. Wells-Barnett died in 1931 at age 69.

Portrait of American journalist, suffragist and Progressive activist Ida B. Wells (Photo by R. Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ida B. Wells Drive stretches from Grant Park west to the entrance to the Eisenhower Expressway.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.