James McGrath Morris
Eye on the Struggle
Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in HistoryNew Books in JournalismNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 22, 2017 James West
In his acclaimed biography Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press (Amistad, Reprint Edition, 2017), James McGrath Morris explores the fascinating life of pioneering black female journalist Ethel Payne. Backed by exhaustive archival research, Morris traces Payne’s role in documenting the civil rights struggle during the decades following World War II, before her later impact as the first female African American radio and television commentator on a national network. The New York Times has described Eyes on the Struggle as an “an important and often absorbing new book,” while the Chicago Tribune has contended that Morris’ beautifully written and carefully researched new book “gives Payne’s ground-breaking work the attention it deserves.”
Morris’ other books include Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power, which Booklist placed on its 2010 list of the ten best biographies, and The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism, which the Washington Post named as one of its Best Books of the Year. His most recent work is The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War which will be published in April 2017 by Da Capo Press.