Alice Dunnigan: Pioneering White House Reporter
|The first African-American reporter to serve in the White House press corps, Alice Dunnigan went on to have a successful career as a pioneering journalist and civil rights activist, despite facing pushback throughout her path. Her newspaper would not agree to pay her expenses to cover Harry Truman’s 1948 Whistle Stop Campaign, so she raised her own funds. She was barred from covering some of Dwight Eisenhower’s speeches since they took place in whites-only theaters, and she was not allowed to sit with the press to cover Senator Robert A. Taft’s funeral and instead was banished to the servants’ section. Known for her straight-shooting reporter style, politicians would often avoid answering her questions, which frequently dealt with race issues. Throughout her career, she received over 50 awards for her journalism and was inducted into the Black Journalist Hall of Fame following her death.
The Truman Library is temporarily playing host to a statue honoring Dunnigan, and on Thursday, April 18, the Truman Library and the Truman Library Institute are presenting a free public program about Dunnigan and her legacy. The program will be a panel discussion featuring Dunnigan’s granddaughter and journalist Soraya Dunnigan Brandon, journalist and African American Studies scholar Dr. Nancy Dawson, and sculptor Amanda Matthews.
This program is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. Register at: http://12130.thankyou4caring.org/events/alice-dunnigan-white-house-reporter