Ethel Payne - And Still We Rise

Ethel Payne, born in 1911 for more than 30 years was known as the First Lady of the Black Press, was one of the nation’s first black women to serve as a war correspondent for a daily newspaper. Working for the Chicago Daily Defender, she wrote about Black troops being segregated in the Korean War and often being sent to the front lines without proper training resulting in many casualties.

She was the second black female to cover the White House which at that time Dwight Eisenhower was president. Payne wrote from many African countries, Vietnam and China and covered the Apollo 17 space launch. She was a special inspiration to seniors as in her 70’s she stayed on the road, not allowing her age to define her duties. She was my close friend and mentor, who taught me the ins and outs of becoming a Washington writer. Payne died in 1991 at age 80. A U.S. postage stamp was commissioned in her honor in Sept. 2002.

Read more about Ethel Payne in our exclusive interview, only available in my book, And Still We Rise.

And Still We Rise – Interviews with 50 Black Role Models

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Forward:

“On Sept. 15, 1982, USA TODAY was founded on a commitment ‘to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity’ across the USA, and the editors of The Nation’s Newspaper pursue that goal in every edition.

“The daily Opinion and Inquiry pages of USA TODAY play a key role in the pursuit and so does Barbara Reynolds, editor of the Inquiry page and a member of the Opinion page editorial board.

“This book, And Still We Rise, represents a special segment of Ms. Reynold’s share in the USA TODAY commitment — a collection of her interviews with 50 black men and women whose achievements make them strong role models for everyone.

“The success stories of these 50 leaders provide the facts and some of the frustrations. They offer ideas and inspiration. They share words of warnings and examples of courage for all who care to follow these footsteps of achievement.

“USA TODAY is proud of the contributions to its pages by Ms. Reynolds and is pleased to share these selections of her work.”

—John C. Quinn– Editor, USA TODAY, Chief News Executive, Garnett Co, Inc.

USA Today with Dr Barbara Reynolds Reporting 50 full text Influential Interviews with 50 black role models. Here are some examples of content you will find from these individual interviews.

  • Maya Angelou
    • “Some of us are timid. We think we have something to lose so we don’t try for that next hill or that next rise”
  • Ray Charles
    • “I don’t know of any country that is set up as glorious as this one.”
  • Bill Cosby
    • “I want to know what established that black Americans are inferior.”
  • Martin Luther King SR
    • “When we vote our strength, we are demonstrating power.”
  • Martin Luther King III
    • “Once we because an integrated society, we became selfish and we tried to forget the past.”
  • Oprah Winfrey
    • “The more your praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate”
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