Alone atop the Hill; The Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press.

Author:Jagareski, Rachel
Position:Book review

Allice Dunnigan and Carol McCabe Booker (editor); ALONE ATOP THE HILL; The University of Georgia Press (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) 26.95 ISBN: 9780820347981

Byline: Rachel Jagareski

This revised edition of Alice Dunnigan's story deservedly elevates her to the pantheon of African American and female pioneers of American history.

Alice Dunnigan was a journalist who blazed trails for women and African Americans in the national corridors of power during the pre-Civil Rights era. Her autobiography received limited recognition when it was first published in 1974, in part perhaps because of its length. Editor Carol McCabe Booker has trimmed it down and retitled the work Alone atop the Hill: The Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press. The result focuses on her hardscrabble early years in rural Kentucky and her work as chief of the Associated Negro Press's (ANP) Washington Bureau during the 1940s-60s.

Booker summarizes Dunnigan's post-ANP years briefly in the volume's epilogue. Extensive footnotes place Dunnigan's achievements in historical context and highlight just how remarkable some of them were, not just for a woman, not just for an African American, but for any journalist.

Dunnigan's lonely life on her parent's sharecropper farm offers haunting insights into how limited opportunities were for African Americans...

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