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Conference Pin Worn by Ethel L. Payne

Object Details

9/16 × 1 5/8 × 3/4 in. (1.4 × 4.1 × 1.9 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
A dove of peace hovers over the globe on this pin from the World Assembly for Peace and Life, Against Nuclear War, a conference held in October 1983 to advocate for disarmament from nuclear weapons. Offset by a deep blue earth and a white dove, the sky blue pin denotes the massive meeting’s location and date as “Praha83.” Over 4,000 delegates from thirty countries gathered in Praha, or, in English, Prague, the capital of the nation then known as Czechoslovakia. The enameled metal pin, fittingly featuring golden lines and letters, belonged to journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991). In her syndicated newspaper column, she described the “Dialogue in Prague” as a “pageantry of peace,” likening it to the United Nations, whose meetings she also covered. A Chicago native, Payne moved to Washington, DC in 1952 to report on national and international news. The lifelong civil rights activist filed bylines from thirty countries over the course of her pioneering career, becoming known as the First Lady of the Black Press.
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