Membership Card Issued To Ethel L. Payne

Object Details

2 5/16 × 3 9/16 in. (5.9 × 9 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
The Metropolitan Women’s Democratic Club (MWDC) issued its first lifetime membership card to “Ethel Payne” in 1973. More than a decade earlier, Payne co-founded the political action group and served as its first president (1960-1962). At that time, she worked for the AFL-CIO recruiting African Americans to join the labor union. Some of its local chapters, including Washington, DC’s, remained racially segregated, and the union president declined to intervene. In resistance to the union’s lobby for like-minded political candidates, Payne and five other women created MWDC to increase female participation in politics, especially in leadership roles. A Chicago native, Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991) moved to Washington, DC in 1952 to cover national and international news. The lifelong civil rights activist reported from thirty countries over the course of her career, becoming known as the First Lady of the Black Press.
Accession Number
membership card
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
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