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Braden, Anne (1924-2006), civil rights activist and journalist  

Catherine Fosl

Braden, Anne (28 July 1924–06 March 2006), civil rights activist and journalist, was born Anne Gambrell McCarty in Louisville, Kentucky, to Gambrell and Anita McCarty. Because her father was a traveling salesman, she grew up in various southern states, but mostly in rigidly segregated Anniston, Alabama. Her conservative white Episcopal parents fully embraced  the norms of southern racial hierarchy, and they remained comfortable throughout the Depression years of her childhood, but the young Anne, idealistic and devoutly religious, was troubled by the suffering around her. After graduating from Anniston High School in 1941, she left home to study literature and journalism at two Virginia women’s colleges, first Stratford Junior College and then Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, where she discovered the life of the mind in a serious way and first met critics of racial segregation. In 1945, upon graduation from Randolph-Macon, she returned to postwar Alabama as a newspaper reporter, first for the ...


Braden, Carl James (1914-1975), journalist and social justice activist  

Cynthia R. Poe

Braden, Carl James (1914–18 February 1975), journalist and social justice activist, was born in New Albany, Indiana, the son of James Braden, a railroadman and auto worker, and Elizabeth Braden. He attended Catholic schools in Louisville and was for two years a proseminary student at Mount Saint Francis College in Indiana. In 1930, at the age of sixteen, he left Mount Saint Francis for a job as a reporter for the ...


Bruce, John Edward (1856-1924), journalist and historian  

David A. Canton

Bruce, John Edward (22 February 1856–07 August 1924), journalist and historian, was born in Piscataway, Maryland, the son of Martha Allen Clark and Robert Bruce, who were both enslaved Africans. In 1859 Major Harvey Griffin, Robert Bruce’s slaveholder, sold him to a Georgia slaveholder. Raised by his mother, Bruce lived in Maryland until 1861 when Union troops marching through Maryland freed him and his mother, taking them to Washington, D.C., where Bruce lived until 1892. In 1865 Bruce’s mother worked as a domestic in Stratford, Connecticut, where Bruce received his early education in an integrated school. One year later they returned to Washington, where Bruce continued his education. Although he did not complete high school, he enrolled in a course at Howard University in 1872. Bruce married Lucy Pinkwood, an opera singer from Washington, D.C. They had no children. In 1895 Bruce married Florence Adelaide Bishop, with whom he had one child....


Burnham, Louis Everett (1915-1960), journalist, activist, and radical  

Erik S. McDuffie

Burnham, Louis Everett (29 September 1915–12 February 1960), journalist, activist, and radical, was born in Harlem, New York, the son of Charles Breechford Burnham, a building superintendent, and Louise St. Clair Williams Burnham, a hairdresser. His parents had emigrated from Barbados to the United States in search of a better livelihood, and they bought their own property in Harlem and began providing rooms for new Caribbean immigrants. Burnham attended New York City public schools and graduated from Townsend High School in 1932. In the fall of 1932 he enrolled in City College. He became actively involved in student political activities, serving as president of the Frederick Douglass Society and vice president of the student council. Affable, charismatic, and a powerful orator, he often spoke on campus about racial injustice, the threat of fascism to world peace, unemployment, and the plight of American youth. He graduated from City College in 1936....


Dunnigan, Alice Allison (27 Apr. 1906–6 May 1983), journalist and civil rights activist  

Gerald L. Smith

Dunnigan, Alice Allison (27 Apr. 1906–6 May 1983), journalist and civil rights activist, was born Alice Allison in Logan County, just outside Russellville, in western Kentucky. Her father, Willie Allison, was a tenant farmer, and her mother, Lena Pittman, was a “hand laundress.” Alice learned to work hard early in life. She gathered vegetables from the family garden, cooked, and cleaned house. She washed clothes for a white family and did housework for another while in high school. Early on she developed an interest in drama and writing stories. She admired her Sunday school teacher, Arleta Vaughn. Their relationship inspired Alice to want to become a teacher. Alice attended Knob City High School in Russellville which offered both elementary and high school classes. Her eighth-grade teacher encouraged her interest in writing. A cousin, who was schoolteacher in Owensboro, Kentucky, introduced her to the editor of the ...


Durham, John Stephens (1861-1919), diplomat, lawyer, and journalist  

Thomas M. Leonard

Durham, John Stephens (18 July 1861–16 October 1919), diplomat, lawyer, and journalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Durham and Elizabeth Stephens. Two of his uncles, Clayton Durham and Jeremiah Durham, were noted clergymen who helped Bishop Richard Allen establish the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. A mulatto, Durham studied in the Philadelphia public schools, graduating from the Institute for Colored Youth in 1876....


Hale, Edward Everett (1822-1909), author, reformer, and Unitarian minister  

Francis J. Bosha

Hale, Edward Everett (03 April 1822–10 June 1909), author, reformer, and Unitarian minister, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Hale, a journalist, and Sarah Preston Everett. His father was a nephew of revolutionary war hero Captain Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake was the orator and statesman ...


Cover Hale, Edward Everett (1822-1909)
Edward Everett Hale Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99518).


Harman, Moses (1830-1910), free-thought and free-love journalist  

Louis J. Kern

Harman, Moses (12 October 1830–30 January 1910), free-thought and free-love journalist, was born in Pendleton County, Virginia (now West Va.), the son of Job Harman, a hardscrabble farmer and marginal land speculator, and Nancy (maiden name unknown). In pursuit of the main chance, the family relocated four times during Harman’s first ten years, and consequently his formal schooling was limited to a scant few months. Through sheer perseverance, he taught himself to read and by his sixteenth year had so mastered the rudiments that he was able to hire himself out as a teacher. At age eighteen, with the assistance of his family, and with money earned by tutoring his classmates, he entered Arcadia College in Iron County, Missouri, graduating in 1851. Just before the Civil War, he spent one semester of study at the St. Louis Normal School....


Jemison, Alice Mae Lee (1901-1964), American Indian political activist and journalist  

Laurence M. Hauptman

Jemison, Alice Mae Lee (09 October 1901–06 March 1964), American Indian political activist and journalist, was born at Silver Creek, New York, near the Cattaraugus Reservation of the Seneca, one of the Six Nations of the Iroquois. She was the daughter of Daniel A. Lee, a cabinetmaker of Cherokee descent, and Elnora E. Seneca, a member of a prominent Seneca family. Lee’s uncle, Cornelius Seneca, was one of the most prominent and respected Seneca leaders of the twentieth century. The tradition among the matrilineal Seneca of women exercising significant, if not formal, political influence undoubtedly shaped Lee’s character and career....


LaFarge, John (1880-1963), clergyman, journalist, and civil rights advocate  

David W. Southern

LaFarge, John (13 February 1880–24 November 1963), clergyman, journalist, and civil rights advocate, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the youngest child of John La Farge, a painter and art critic, and Margaret Mason Perry, a granddaughter of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Growing up in this distinguished Catholic family, LaFarge was exposed to such famous people as ...


Lloyd, Henry Demarest (1847-1903), journalist and social reformer  

E. Jay Jernigan

Lloyd, Henry Demarest (01 May 1847–28 September 1903), journalist and social reformer, was born in New York City, the son of Aaron Lloyd, a pastor of the Dutch Reformed church, and Marie Christie Demarest. Lloyd grew up in impoverished rural parishes in New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. But in 1860 his father gave up the ministry and returned to New York City to move in with his father-in-law, a customs house official, and run a small book shop. A scholarship student at Columbia College, Lloyd graduated with a B.A. in 1867 and entered Columbia Law School. In 1869, after passing the New York bar exam, he became assistant secretary to the New York-based American Free-Trade League and for three years served as its public relations agent....


Cover Lloyd, Henry Demarest (1847-1903)

Lloyd, Henry Demarest (1847-1903)  


Henry Demarest Lloyd. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103845).


Loeb, Sophie Irene Simon (1876-1929), author, journalist, and welfare worker  

Marjorie N. Feld

Loeb, Sophie Irene Simon (04 July 1876–18 January 1929), author, journalist, and welfare worker, was born in Rovno, Russia, the daughter of Samuel Simon, a jeweler, and Mary Carey. Both of her parents were Jewish. Loeb emigrated to the United States with her family at the age of six; they settled in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Upon the death of her father ten years later, she began part-time work in a local store while finishing high school. Sophie was teaching grade school when in 1896, at the age of nineteen, she married Anselm Loeb, an older man who owned the store where she had worked. She stopped teaching and lived the life of a middle-class married woman, concentrating on entertaining, music, art, and poetry. She wrote epigrams, which she later published, and sympathetic essays about the poor. Unhappy with her married life, and seeking to serve society, Loeb obtained a divorce in 1910 and moved to New York City....


Cover Loeb, Sophie Irene Simon (1876-1929)
Sophie Irene Loeb. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-116626).


O’Connor, Jessie Lloyd (1904-1988), journalist and social activist  

Amy Hague

O’Connor, Jessie Lloyd (14 February 1904–24 December 1988), journalist and social activist, was born in Winnetka, Illinois, the daughter of William Bross Lloyd, a writer and socialist, and Lola Maverick, a pacifist and founder of the U.S. section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Jessie’s grandfather was ...


Payne, Ethel Lois (1911-1991), journalist and civil rights activist  

James McGrath Morris

Payne, Ethel Lois (14 August 1911–28 May 1991), journalist and civil rights activist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of William A. Payne and Bessie Austin. Her father worked in the city’s stockyards before obtaining steady employment as a Pullman porter, one of the best jobs then open to African Americans. He died at age forty-six, when Ethel was fourteen years old. Afterward her mother took various domestic jobs to support the family and taught Sunday school. Ethel spent her childhood in the predominantly black neighborhood of West Englewood, surrounded by white communities. She attended Chicago public schools, notably the mostly white Lindblom Technical High School. She continued her education at Crane Junior College and the Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions....


Riis, Jacob August (1849-1914), journalist and social reformer  

Robert D. Cross

Riis, Jacob August (03 May 1849–26 May 1914), journalist and social reformer, was born in Ribe, Denmark, the son of Niels Edward Riis, a Latin teacher, and Carolina Lundholm. After studying in his father’s school, Riis was apprenticed for four years to a carpenter in Copenhagen. Unable to find steady employment and spurned by Elisabeth Gortz, the young woman who in 1876 would marry him, Riis emigrated in 1870 to the United States. For the rest of his life he regularly compared the sociability and the close relationships of life in Ribe with the impersonality and harsh precariousness of American urban life....


Cover Riis, Jacob August (1849-1914)
Jacob A. Riis Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113814).


Scott, Leroy Martin (1875-1929), writer  

James Boylan

Scott, Leroy Martin (11 May 1875–21 July 1929), writer, was born in Fairmount, Indiana, the son of Eli J. Scott and Eleanor S. Reader. He attended high school in Fairmount and graduated in 1897 from Indiana University. His first jobs were on newspapers, initially in Louisiana on a paper owned by his brother, and then on the ...