Pinback Button, Harold Washington Mayoral Campaign
- paper, plastic, metal
- 1/8 × 3 7/8 in. (0.3 × 9.9 cm)
- Cite As
- Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
- This pinback button expresses eagerness to vote for Harold Washington in Chicago’s Democratic primary for mayor in October 1982. A coalition of voters “punched eight” for Washington, the eighth candidate on the ballot. Hailing from the city’s predominantly African American South Side, Washington made history when he was elected the first African American mayor of Chicago in April 1983. The blue-and-white button belonged to journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991), a Chicago native who moved to Washington, DC in 1952 to cover national and international news for the preeminent African American newspaper, The Chicago Defender. She followed Washington’s mayoral campaign closely and collected pins that told the story: from grassroots campaign (1991.0076.0166) to victorious celebration (1991.0076.0172) to inauguration day (1991.0076.0170). Payne, a lifelong civil rights activist, reported from thirty countries over the course of her own pioneering career, becoming known as the First Lady of the Black Press.
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- Anacostia Community Museum
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