What My God's Givent Talent

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Ethel Payne
I nominate Ethel L. Payne for Outstanding Minority Figure in media history for her outstanding achievements, courage, and sacrifice for African Americans and fighting four journalist freedom, Ethel L. Payne was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 14, 1911. she attended Lindblom High School, Crane Jr College, and the Medill School of Journalism. Payne was the fifth of six children and her family, she did not consider becoming a journalist as a child. Ethel originally wanted to be a lawyer, but begin writing in high school, when she was encouraged by a English teach who recognize her talent. She was the first African American female to report international news. Ethel was known as the ’First lady of the Black Press’ and wrote for the Chicago Defender for twenty seven years starting in 1951. Many of her article concerned desegregation and Civil Rights issues. Ethel considered Civil Rights to be top priority and she worked tirelessly convening Civil Rights marches and interviewing the leaders of the movement. She reported on many of the major events of the Civil Rights movement including the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956, desegregation efforts Little Rock Central in 1957, and the March on Washington in 1963. One of her most memorable articles was a series written for the Defender titled ’The South at the Crossroads,’ chronicling the South during the civil rights. Ethel accompanied Vice President Nixon to the independent ceremonies in Ghana. In 1966 she provided on sight coverage of African American troops in Vietnam. She became the first black female radio and television commentator at a national news organization when CBS hired her in 1972. She worked there for ten years, and the early 1980’s she campaigned for the release South African leader Nelson Mandela from prison. Payne was offered a job at the Defender, at first doing features the first piece she wrote was a series on adoption that won first prize at the Illinois Press Association....
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