Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press

Journalist Ethel L. Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press”, is one of the most significant, yet least known figures of the Civil Rights era. She covered the first international Non-Aligned conference in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955; the Black perspective from the Korean War front; the first extensive tour of Africa by a U.S. Secretary of State, with Henry Kissinger in 1975. Her aggressive techniques and tactics as a member of the White House Press Corps during the Eisenhower administration and beyond, literally moved Black people’s news from the obituary pages, to the front pages. In 2002, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp in her honor. In 2015, Amistad Press published Eye On The Struggle, a biography of her by author James McGrath Morris.

Featured speakers/guests:

Ethel L. Payne, James McGrath Morris  


Written, narrated and produced by Askia Muhammad, WPFW-Pacifica in Washington DC.

This program contains portions of a 1980 interview by Askia Muhammad with Ethel Payne and a 2015 interview with James Morris.

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