"Evelyn Cunningham was among the few women who covered the hot spots of the Civil Rights Movement. She begged for such assignments and came to be known as the “lynching editor.” Rather than take her notepad and pen to teas, fashion shows, debutante balls, and club meetings, she preferred not only to go where the male reporters went, but also in their stead since black men faced a greater risk of being lynched. She was in the thick of protests, lynchings and bombings, including the blast that struck the Alabama home of a young Martin Luther King Jr. Cunningham chronicled King’s emergence as a leader in a multi-part series and other articles. They developed a mutual respect, she said, and would often joke around. “When he had to introduce me to somebody, he would always say, ‘This is Sister Cunningham, and she’s from the Pittsburgh Courier—but she’s a New Yorker and she is not nonviolent.” Cunningham documented an important chapter in U.S. history, not only as a correspondent for the black press but also as a stringer for the New York Times, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. She shrugged off the lack of credit or compensation for the stories and tips she provided. And the dailies wouldn’t have been able to lure her from the black press even if they had really tried." MORE
Special Thanks to Gilbert King for introducing me to this fascinating history maker.