About Elaine Ray

Elaine Ray

Photo by Rachael Behrens

Elaine Ray is a writer, editor and now family historian who began her career in book publishing in Boston and New York.  She spent several years at Essence magazine, first as editor of the magazine’s career and travel sections and ultimately as executive editor.

For several years, she served on the editorial board of  the Boston Globe, helping to shape the paper’s positions on such topics as civil rights, domestic violence, K-12 education, Haitian refugees and South Africa. In 1990, she and her colleague Peggy Hernandez shared first prize for editorial writing  from the Education Writers Association. In 1993 and 1995, respectively, Elaine won second prize and third prize, for editorial writing  from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association. In 1995 she won a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

Elaine has written freelance articles and columns for the Boston Globe, Essence, Black Enterprise, Modern Maturity, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 2005, Elaine joined forces with other Palo Alto Unified School District parents to found the Parent Network for Students of Color, an organization dedicated to advocating at all levels to create a climate of high expectations and academic achievement for all. She currently serves as president of the board of Foundation for a College Education.

A native of Pittsburgh, Elaine  earned her B.A. from Chatham College and an M.A. in journalism from Kent State University.  Her daughter, Zuri Adele, is an actress and a 2012 graduate of the Spelman College.


11 Responses to “About Elaine Ray”

  1. suminaidoo March 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Ms Ray,
    My name is Sumi Naidoo and I’m a writer at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. I love your blog! I’m working on a project on one of the characters of the Harlem Renaissance that your father used to quite frequently write about and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind speaking with me about him, if you have some time. My email address is sumnaidoo@gmail.com. Please let me know if you’d be up for a chat!

  2. Gladys Constance Durant Dayes,born Harlem March 9,1931 March 20, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    My father was the Rev. Dr. E.Elliot Durant,founder and 1st Rector of St. Ambrose,NYC,written about by your father in New York Age 1937 Born in Barbados, His father Rev.Dr. Joseph Nathaniel Durant :1st black man to graduate from The Philadelphia Divinity School 1869 . made Commissioner of Freedman school of Baltimore,.Washington,D.C.,and Philadelphia.Manhattan Convocation Appointed him Dean Of University of Antilles…

    • Elaine Ray March 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      This is very exciting. I love the way this blog has connected me with people like you. I would love to know more about your father. Thank you for sharing this.

      • G Constance Durant Dayes April 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

        anglicanhistory.org/usa/misc/Durant_Ambrose/1946…………Hope we meet one day. My 16th formal picture in New York Age feb.1947.

        • G Constance Durant Dayes April 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

          there should be forward slash after 1946.Also Durant: Romance of Ecclesiastical Adventure. It is so thrilling to make these connections..Also Facebook: Constance Durant Dayes

  3. Christina Anderson September 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi Elaine my name is Christina Anderson I am the Granddaughter of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. You have a post about him https://ebenezerray.com/tag/lamman-rucker/

    I am enjoying reading the stories on this site. I would love to connect with you and tell you about what I am doing in regards to my Grandfather’s legacy. In 2012 I created a foundation in his name, please visit my foundations website http://www.chiefanderson.com

    Thanks so very much,
    Christina Anderson

    • Elaine Ray October 2, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      Christine, I would love to talk further.


  4. Nancy Williams June 26, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Hi cousin! I miss talking to you! I last called you to tell you about Uncle Jimmy’s death back in January. I hope you find as much pleasure as I have in researching your Ray history. My (about) tenth great grandmother was sent to barbados to get “seasoned” before she was sold to America. I believe she dad several children there. Anything you find out is emotionally rewarding, that it becomes a part of.

  5. C. Denise Johnson April 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Were you ever a participant in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Urban Journalism Workshop

  6. andre gerard December 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Elaine,

    Two questions; connected yet separate. The first question is whether or not I could send you a copy of my book, Fathers: A Literary Anthology? My hope is that you will like it enough to want to blog about it or otherwise bring it to the attention of friends and family. My second question is whether or not you would be willing to post a tribute to your father on the father tribute section of my website? If you visit the site you will see a couple of tributes that have already been posted.

    By the way, I am very much enjoying your site. I came to it through Cynthia Haven’s bookblog.


    • Elaine Ray December 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

      I would be happy to do both. Thank you.


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