The First Black Woman To Carry White House Press Credentials

Alice Dunnigan statue
Shonda Buchanan
March 3, 2021

Every day, Alice Allison Dunnigan worked long, hard hours, enduring discrimination that white men didn't have to deal with. But what she was about to do would either make or break her career.

She’d surmounted racism AND sexism to become the first Black woman White House Correspondent – but she still had to pay her OWN way on the Presidential campaign trail! And that wasn’t the only indignity.

In 1953, Dunnigan was denied entrance to a Senator’s funeral and forced to cover it from the servant’s section!

Racists not only wanted to silence her powerful Black voice and disempower the Black press – and punish Dunnigan directly for challenging the system – they didn’t even want to SEE her! But she was determined: no one would shut her up.

Which is what caused many whites to nearly faint when she yet again challenged President Truman in a press conference: “When will you integrate military schools?” she asked defiantly. 

Her job was to speak truth to power! She refused to back down to white supremacy. Was she dragged from the room after challenging the President?

No! Shortly after the incident, Truman indeed desegregated military schools, which led to other federal desegregation policies!

Like Dunnigan, if we refuse to allow discrimination to determine what we’re capable of, we can excel – and blaze trails for others to follow.

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