#ThrowbackThursday: Alice Dunnigan, Date Unknown

Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)

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.

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By The Numbers: Women Making Bank

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra,’ 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Earlier this week, Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid TV actress currently on TV, making $20M a year. How’d she do it? She asked for it. Also, she knew her worth.

Who else has made bank while breaking the glass ceiling? Let’s take a look!

First Female Millionaire:

Madam C.J. Walker built a beauty empire and had a net worth of $600K at the time of her death. Adjusted for inflation, that’s that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

First Female Billionaire:

Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart became a billionaire in 2000, the year after her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public.

First Black Female Billionaire:

Be honest: you thought this would be Oprah, didn’t you? So did I…until I actually googled it. No, this honor goes to Sheila Johnson. Johnson co-founded BET with her ex-husband Bob Johnson and went on to work in hospitality and real estate, and own minority stakes in three sports teams. Johnson first made the “Forbes” Billionaire List in 2000.

First Film Actress to be Paid $1M for a Role:

This would be the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor, who played the titular role in “Cleopatra” in 1963.

Highest-Paid Actress of 2017:

Emma Stone made the “Forbes” 2017 list of highest paid actors and actresses at $26M. However, she’s the highest-ranking actress at #15.

 

 

Oprah Winfrey Is the First Black Woman to Receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award

Oprah Winfrey at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Variety)

75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Oprah Winfrey, Winner, Cecil B. Demille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

We all know that Oprah is a supreme being, right? Is there anything she can’t do? Seemingly not, especially when it comes to her role throughout the decades in entertainment. And now she has the one of the highest honors.

Last night, Winfrey was awarded the Cecil DeMille Award. Named after the famed director, the award recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry who’ve, well, achieved a lot within their lifetime (obviously).

Winfrey is the African-American woman to receive the award. This award has been presented since 1952.

Oprah then gifted us all with an acceptance speech to end all acceptance speeches. She started out speaking on what the award personally meant to her (#representationmatters), tied in into history, and spoke on the fact that the tide is finally turning against sexual harassment, in every industry.

Her speech was so good that some are calling for her to run for president (though not everyone feels this way).

Congratulations to Oprah! Only one question: why didn’t she receive this award sooner?!?!?!

Polygamy: How Common Is It?

Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and his polygamist family

Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and his polygamist family

“The Talk” host Julie Chen revealed a family secret this week: her maternal grandfather was a polygamist. He had nine wives.

We’ve all seen “Big Love,” the HBO show centering on a Mormon man (Bill Paxton) and his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin) that ran 2006-2011. The show single-handedly brought a depiction of modern polygamy into premium cable holders’ homes and greater mainstream culture.

How common is polygamy, both in the United States and the world?

Oprah’s “Polygamy in America” report cites experts at putting the US number between 30K and 50K. Another source notes that it’s difficult to find hard numbers on polygamists because plural marriages aren’t documented.

In the greater world, Polygamy Stop estimates another 100K+ people are practice polygamy in Western Europe. The site also notes that polygamy is legal in over 150 countries in Africa, the Middle East and various countries in the Third World (none are specified).

If anything, this news gives Chen quite the conversation-starter for her next dinner party.