The first Black woman to run for vice president of the United States was Charlotta Bass - a journalist. That happened 70 years ago.
For nearly four decades before her 1952 run for the vice presidency, Bass was the crusading editor and publisher of the California Eagle, the largest Black-owned newspaper on the West Coast. But those who write the history of that time have largely forgotten-or simply ignored-Bass.
Bonnie Newman Davis' book, Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960, tells the stories of 24 Black women whose journalism careers spanned the last forty years of the 20th century. They are print and broadcast journalists and, like Bass, courageously bore the burden of being a Black woman in America's newsrooms.
Norma Adams-Wade to Lynne K. Varner, Wanda Lloyd to Barbara Ciara, and Patrice Gaines to Sandra Daye Hughes, the stories Davis tells are of Black women journalists who took on the challenges of being what W.E.B. DuBois called the "two-ness" of being an American and Black.