Oral history interview with Alice Allison Dunnigan, 1971


Dunnigan, Alice Allison, 1906-1983 (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Alice Allison Dunnigan, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Alice Allison Dunnigan : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Alice Allison Dunnigan, 1971
In this interview, Dunnigan discusses her education, her work as an educator, her move to Washington, D.C., the job discrimination she faced as a black woman, and the barriers she broke. She describes her salary at different organizations, the need in journalism to work for multiple publications to make a livable wage, and how she gained accreditation to the Senate press gallery. Other topics of di scussion include: Dunnigan’s work as a sports writer; the 1948 whistle stop train tour for President Truman’s reelection campaign; her opinions on the importance and future of the black press; and work-related trips abroad to Israel, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Canada. Publications discussed in the interview include: Louisville Sender, Service Magazine, Journal and Guide, Chicago Defender, Sepia Magazine, Louisville Defender, Louisville Leader, Afro American, Pittsburgh Courier, and the news service Associated Negro Press.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; African American press; African American journalists; African American women journalists; African American sportswriters; African Americans--Civil rights; United States Race relations; Dunnigan, Alice Allison, 1906-1983; Associated Negro Press; The Louisville defender
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 51 pages
Note (Biographical)
Alice Allison Dunnigan was born on April 27, 1906 in Russellville, Kentucky. Dunnigan was the first black woman to serve as a White House correspondent and the first black female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. Befor e moving to Washington D.C., Dunnigan taught history in Kentucky public schools and supplemented the required texts with her own fact sheets of African American history. These were compiled into a manuscript in 1939, and published in 1982 as The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians: Their Heritage and Tradition. During her time in Washington, Dunnigan covered the presidencies of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1974, she published her autobiography titled A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House. Throughout her career, Dunnigan worked for publications such as the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Louisville Sender, Service Magazine, as well as the Associated Negro Press (ANP). Dunnigan was the first black member of the Women’s National Press Club. She died on May 6, 1983.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on July 1, 1971.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
Related URLs
Available digital content for this interview.