Dec 29, 2021
Tamara Payne visits Friends Like Us, in a one-on-one with host Marina Franklin, discussing her Pulitzer Prize biography on Malcom X Co-Authored with her father Les Payne.
Tamara Payne is the co-author of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X written with her father, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne. Prior to working on the book, Tamara graduated from William Smith College, Geneva, NY. After graduating, she worked at McNeil/Lehrer News Hour on channel Thirteen for about a year. She then moved to China where she taught English for two years in Shandong Province.
After returning from China, Les Payne, her father, brought her on to work on the project about the life of Malcolm X. Tamara was the principal researcher while working in commercial real estate. After Les Payne’s sudden passing in 2018, Tamara made it her purpose to finish his life’s work. The Dead Are Arising has won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for biography, the 71st National Book Award for nonfiction and the 52nd NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - biography. The Dead Are Arising is available wherever books are sold.
Tamara's Father -Les Payne - Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, columnist and former Newsday editor responsible for national/state/foreign and health & science news at the paper for a quarter century. Payne also served as the Editor of New York Newsday. His news staffs won every major award in journalism, including six Pulitzer Prizes. The Inaugural Professor for the David Laventhol Chair, at Columbia U. Graduate School of Journalism, Payne received 4 honorary doctorate degrees, including the 2012 honor from Old Dominion University; and from his alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where he delivered the Commencement Address. Some of Payne’s major investigations as a Newsday reporter included: migrant farm laborers on Long Island; involuntary sterilization of minority women; U.S. Atomic testing in Nevada; illegal immigrants; The Black Panther Party, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Payne is also the author of the ``The Life and Death of the Symbionese Liberation Army,” the radical group that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst and terrorized the West Coast. As a correspondent for Newsday, Payne reported extensively from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United Nations. In the wake of the 1976 Soweto uprising, he traveled throughout South Africa and wrote an 11-part Newsday series that the Pulitzer Prize jury selected for the 1978 award in international reporting; it would have been his second Pulitzer in four years, an accomplishment unprecedented for a reporter at that time. The Review Board overturned the committee’s selection and, without explanation, gave it to the jury’s 4th choice, the New York Times.
As a founder, and the 4th president, of the National Association of Black Journalists, Payne worked diligently to improve media fairness and employment practices and to expand the coverage of black and Third World communities. He also co-founded the “TrotterGroup,” a national organization of newspaper writers of commentary. Payne served six years as a Ranger in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. He commanded a Nike-Hercules anti-aircraft missile battery, and during an assignment in Vietnam, ran the command newspaper as an army journalist, and wrote messages and speeches for Commanding Gen. William C. Westmoreland. Born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Payne grew up in Hartford, CT, graduating from high school, with honors, and from the University of Connecticut, with a BA degree in English.
Always hosted by Marina Franklin - One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), TBS's The Last O.G, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Hysterical on FX, The Movie Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO's Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf.