Alice Dunnigan, First Black Woman to Report On the White House, Gets Her Own Statue

In Depth

The first black woman to cover the White House is getting her own statue at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum on September 21.

Alice Dunnigan became the head of the Associated Negro Press Washington Bureau in 1947 and wrote for over a hundred African-American newspapers across the country for 14 years, the New York Times reports. It was during that time that she became the first black women to ever be accredited to report on the White House, in addition to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the State Department.

Dunnigan grew up in Kentucky, the daughter of a washwoman and a sharecropper, and by age 14 had her own weekly column in the newspaper Owensboro Enterprise. She left journalism in the early 1960s but during her career won 50 journalism awards and was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame, the NYT reports. “Race and sex were twin strikes against me,” she is famously quoted as once saying. “I’m not sure which was the hardest to break down.”

The sculpture of Dunnigan will be on display at the Newseum until December 16, 2018, and then it will head to Dunnigan’s hometown in Kentucky to be installed at the West Kentucky African American Heritage Center.

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