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From The Vault

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.

This pro­gram fea­tures a 1980 inter­view that Ask­ia Muham­mad did with Ethel L. Payne and com­men­tary from Payne biog­ra­ph­er James McGrath Morris.

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.