Pinback Button, Harold Washington Mayoral Campaign

Object Details

paper, platic, metal
5/16 × 3 7/16 in. (0.8 × 8.7 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
This pinback button expresses educators’ endorsement of Harold Washington’s bid to become Chicago’s mayor in 1983. The yellow pin exemplifies the support that Washington inspired among diverse constituencies in a city with sharp racial and class divides. Hailing from the city’s predominantly African American South Side, Washington won the Democratic primary in October 1982 and made history when he was elected the first African American mayor of Chicago in April 1983. The button belonged to journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991). The Chicago native 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). The 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.
Accession Number
See more items in
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Record ID
Back to Top