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The Power of Her Pen

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome Illustrated by John Parra


Age range: 7 and up

Notable author Lesa Cline-Ransome has told a powerful and inspiring story about a prominent women in history: Ethel L. Payne in The Power of Her Pen . Payne was born and raised in Chicago but had a dream of seeing the world and more importantly being a story collector and a writer of important issues that faced African Americans for decades. She broke ground as a reporter moving to Japan and her voice told of injustices and segregation issues that plagued the US military. Moving back to the United States in the 1950’s Payne worked for the Chicago Defender and made her way as a reporter to the White House. It was she who asked the tough questions to not just one President but everyone from Eisenhower up to Carter; topics that her counterparts would not write about, but they were important: Brown vs. the Board of Education, civil rights voting records, and the civil rights act to name a few. Through Cline-Ransome we see a woman who informed the public with issues that the mainstream media “refused” to cover. It is a hope that every child who reads this book learns about a woman - a strong and brave woman - “who had a box seat on history.”

A Bookish Decree: Brilliant and Inspiring

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