Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)
Alice Dunnigan should be more well-known. This is not editorializing, this is just a fact. As a journalist WOC, Dunnigan pioneered many firsts. She was the first African-American woman to have press access to the White House, first African-American female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. Dunnigan was also the first African-American woman to travel with a presidential candidate, when she traveled with Harry S. Truman during the 1948 presidential campaign.
Dunnigan paved the way for other African-American female journalists, among them Gwen Ifill, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Oprah Winfrey.
Boyz N The Hood, made by John Singleton in 1991, was the story of three friends — played by(from left) Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ice Cube – growing up in South Central Los Angeles.
The first African-American nominee for Best Director was John Singleton. Like Peele, Singleton was nominated for his debut film. Singleton’s film “Boys n the Hood” featured Ice Cube (in his acting debut), Cuba Gooding Jr. and Angela Bassett. Singleton’s nomination also made history because he was the youngest-ever nominee for Best Director, nominated at age 24.
This year, Jordan Peele hit the trifecta of Oscar nominations with “Get Out,” receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Peele is only the fifth African-American director to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.
Prior to directing the 2009 film “The Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow was known for science fiction “Strange Days” and action film “Point Break.” “The Hurt Locker” raised her profile, and pushed her into the spotlight when she won the Best Director Oscar for the film.
Bigelow is the only woman to win the Best Director Oscar. She was the fourth woman to be nominated for the award.
Many people know Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series “Batman,” but there was a second Catwoman as well! Actress and singer Eartha Kitt took over the role in 1967. Kitt was already famous by this time, having danced with the Katherine Dunham Company, recorded several songs and had been acting for many years.
Kitt played Catwoman from 1967 to 1968. Not bad for a woman Orson Welles called “the most exciting woman on Earth.”
If you don’t know who Madame C.J. Walker is, get on that! The former Sarah Breedlove worked as a laundress and a singer before developing her own line of hair care products. Walker eventually extended her product line into a beauty school and trained hairdressers in her products and specific methods. Through Walker’s entrepreneurship, she taught other black women how to run their own businesses and become financially independent.
By the time Madame C.J. Walker died at age 51, she’d become the first female millionaire, and a self-made one at that. Her net worth at the time of her death in 1919 was $600,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.
You know the old saying that women make 75 cents for every dollar a man makes? (Gah, that makes me want to punch something.) Well, it’s not strictly true. Yes, women on the whole make less than men, but it’s not always exactly 75 cents.
The above graphic comes from “Business Insider,” which broke down the gender pay gap by state. Notice from the key at the bottom of the map that no percentage range rises about 90%. So no state pays women 90 cents for every man’s dollar. The closest states are New York with 87% and Nevada with 85%.
This is just depressing, There’s so much more progress to be made.
Virginia newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested shortly after their wedding in 1958. The reason? As Life magazine would later put it, “the crime of being married.”
The Lovings had violated Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which banned interracial relationships and marriage. The couple avoided prison time be agreeing to leave Virginia and not come back for 25 years.
In 1964, the couple took their case to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Racial Integrity Act was unconstitutional. The decision made states’ anti-miscegenation laws unenforceable (though many of the laws remained on the books for years later).
Today, nearly 50 years later, the Loving v. Virginia case continues to resonate. In 2015, the decision was cited in Obergefell v. Hodges in arguments in favor of marriage equality to the case’s success. A documentary “The Loving Story” was released in 2011, and “Loving” was released in 2016 with Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as the historic couple.