Looking Back in Black History Ethel PayneTrailblazer for Black Women in Media As we celebrate Black History Month, I sit and think about all the ones before us that have paved the way for Blacks to be successful in America. We at times take advantage of the hard work that was done, and take for granite the sacrifice that was made for us. Something as simple as what I am presenting to you now, on this platform we call Media, someone made a way for me to communicate through this outlet. Ethel Payne, known to America as the First Lady of Black Press, is the inspiration for Black women across America that aspire to have careers in Media. Ethel Payne, Born August 14, 1911, was a Columnist, Lecturer, Freelance Writer, Civil Rights Leader, and Educator. She used journalism as a podium to advocate for Civil Rights. Her passion for Journalism gave way for so many accomplishments. Ms. Payne was the 1st female African American Commentator employed by CBS in 1972, She covered the Montgomery Bus Boycott & Desegregation at University of Alabama in 1956, and the March on Washington in 1963. America is not where Ms. Payne limited her gift. She also covered American Domestic Politics & International Stories; she was the only Black Correspondent in 1956 at Bandung Conference in Indonesia. Her most memorable articles were a series written for The Defender titled The South At The Crossroads;chronicling the South during the Civil rights period. In 1966 she provided on site coverage of African American Troops in Vietnam. Ms. Payne died May 28, 1991 at the age of 79, but her legacy lives on in Black Women across America doing Vlogs dedicated to politics and change, Blogs on changing black on black crime in America, News Commentators to Editors of Magazines. She has most definitely paved the way for us to take a stand to make change and speak about it in the form of Media. It is an honor to pay homage and Celebrate her legacy this Black History Month 2015.
American National Biography Online www.anb.org/articles/16/1603900.html