This inaugural issue of Newest Americans is dedicated to Clement Alexander Price—historian, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend to so many. The stories from the global city we share are a product of the university and the city he loved so wisely and so well.
Several of the stories in this issue are informed by the remarkable interviews collected by the Krueger-Scott Cultural Center’s African-American Oral History Project. The 14 pages of interview questions and the training of the citizen-volunteers who conducted the interviews were the work of Clem and his close friend and fellow historian of African-American New Jersey, Giles Wright.
Clem’s signature Marion Thompson Wright lecture series took place in Newark every February at the Paul Robeson Campus Center on the Rutgers campus. On the day of MTW, people from all over and from all walks of life gathered to grapple with the joys and sorrows of our shared history. Clem Price made history matter to people. He was able to do so because what that most distinguished Rutgers alum Paul Robeson said of playwright Lorraine Hansberry was true of Clem as well:
She had her roots deep in her people. . .
As an artist she reflected the life and struggles of our day in her work
and leaves a precious heritage.
Her soul has grown deep like rivers.
Of the many moving tributes to Clem, we share this column from Newest Americans contributor Mark Di Ionno. Mark is both a graduate of and a journalism professor at Rutgers University Newark. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work at the Newark Star-Ledger:
NJ.Com: By Mark Di Ionno/The Star-Ledger