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.

My Life, My Love, My Legacy: The Memoirs of Coretta Scott King

CSK101
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Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women’s, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

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