Ethel Payne: “Leading Lady of the Black Press”

Ethel Payne

Ethel Payne was an African American journalist, a Washington correspondent, and a major influence on civil rights due to the investigative reporting that she covered in the 1950s and 1960s. Through the articles she wrote and her unique questioning style, she inadvertently assisted African Americans fight for equality during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1972 she was deemed the first African-American woman to serve in the positions of both  a radio and television commentator at CBS Broadcasting Company.

Payne said, “I fought my whole life to bring about change, to correct the injustices, and the iniquities in the system.”

Words have power, and writing is an effective tool to evoke emotion, thought, and can help in getting important messages out to the general public. There is still work to be done, and I am grateful that I have an opportunity to carry the torch. It is my hope that my articles will go down in history too.

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