White House Conference Badge Worn By Ethel L. Payne

Object Details

plastic, metal
2 5/16 × 2 3/4 × 3/8 in. (5.9 × 7 × 0.9 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
This shield-shaped badge admitted reporters to a planning session for the White House Conference on Civil Rights promised by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. In his commencement address at Howard University on June 4, he pledged to convene scholars, government officials, and civil rights activists so that African Americans could “fulfill the rights, which, after the long time of injustice, he [sic] is finally about to secure.” The historic speech became known by the same name as the conference, “To Fulfill These Rights.” The first of several planning sessions took place in July 1965, culminating in a public planning session in November 1965. At the Washington Hilton, 240 leaders debated how to realize full equality for African Americans in a prelude to a conference that would draw 2,500 delegates from across the country in June 1966. The blue-and-white badge, punctuated by a yellow embossed label, is almost identical to two other badges in Ethel L. Payne’s collection of press passes and political pins. The longtime Washington, DC resident and political reporter became known as the First Lady of the Black Press for her pioneering journalism career, but Payne (1911-1991) attended the planning session(s) in her press-like role as an employee of the Democratic National Committee.
Accession Number
press badge
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
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