Pinback Button, Jesse Jackson Presidential Campaign

Object Details

Between 1983 and 1984
metal, plastic, paper
5/16 × 2 3/16 in. (0.8 × 5.5 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
This pinback button supported Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s historic run for president in 1983-1984. Jackson broke ground first trod by Shirley Chisolm, becoming the second African American to run nationally for a major party’s nomination in a presidential primary. Made in Chicago, the button features color photos of Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, the Chicago-based Nation of Islam leader who endorsed his candidacy. However, Jackson eventually distanced himself from Farrakhan due to anti-Semitic remarks. The button belonged to journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991), a Chicago native who moved to the nation’s capital in 1952 to cover national and international news for the preeminent African American newspaper, The Chicago Defender. She collected memorabilia from Jesse Jackson’s grassroots campaign. 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 Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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