Object of the Week: Congressman Donald Payne greets Congressman John Lewis and Bono

DECEMBER IS UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH

Donald M. Payne served as a U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District from 1989 through 2012 and was the state’s first African American congressional representative.  Born and raised in Newark, he is an alumnus of Seton Hall University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1957 before continuing his studies at the graduate level at Springfield College in Massachusetts.[1] Before his life in politics, Donald M. Payne was an executive at Prudential Financial, served as vice president at Urban Data Systems and taught in Newark’s Public Schools.  In 1970, he became the first black president of the National Council of Y.M.C.A.s before becoming Chairman of the World Y.M.C.A. Refugee and Rehabilitation Committee.  In 1972, Payne ran for a seat on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and was elected – serving three terms in total. He also served three terms on the Newark Municipal council from 1982 to 1988.[2]

During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Payne served on many important committees and was a leading advocate for education, democracy, and human rights.  In his first term as congressional representative, Donald Payne was appointed to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. During his subsequent eleven terms in Congress, he also served on the following;  Subcommittee on Workforce Protections; the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education; the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, of which he was also the chairman; the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; and the Subcommittee on Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight. He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, serving as chair from 1995-1997.  He belonged to several other congressional caucuses, including the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and co-founded the Sudan Caucus in 2005. [3]

from the left: U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks - NY (L) with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, Representative Donald Payne and Ambassador Leonard Ngaithe - MSS0078 courtesy of Archives and Special Collections
from the left: U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks – NY (L) with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangarĩ Muta Maathai, Representative Donald Payne and Ambassador Leonard Ngaithe – Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, MSS 0078

In 1994, Representative Payne led an official delegation to Rwanda, seeking to end the ethnic violence that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. He was also among the first to publicly denounce the Sudanese genocide in the country’s Darfur region in 2003.  Later, Payne called for an international tribunal which brought Sudanese militia members responsible for the massacres to justice.[4]  Representative Payne championed the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (2000) to promote African economic development and trade with the US. He sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of bills to help African countries economically, support peace, expand agricultural programs, provide safe drinking water and promote educational opportunities for millions of children. In 2008 he had a key role in the authorization of up to $48 billion over 5 years to fight HIV/AIDS, a substantial portion of it going to Africa.[5]

Upon his death in 2012, Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam, professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino and expert in human rights law, eulogized Representative Payne in Ethiopian News and Views: “His passing marks a major setback to the cause of freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia and Africa. But Don Payne has left us a rich legacy of human rights advocacy and legislative action spanning over two decades. It is now our burden — indeed our moral duty — to build, to expand and to deliver on that legacy.”[6]  The son of a chauffeur and lumber handler, Representative Payne worked his way through college while attending Seton Hall University.  He said, “We have to understand there are no more impossible dreams for black youngsters. They can do basically anything they want to do, and if I’m a prime example of that, all the better.”[7]  Whether serving on a global scale as a human rights activist, or motivating black youth locally, both messages are inspiring and demonstrate Payne’s unwavering commitment to service.  The Donald M. Payne Sr. Global Foundation continues Representative Payne’s work as a global human rights advocate and community activist.  You can watch this documentary video, The Life of Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. to learn more about his life’s work.

Seton Hall University’s Department of Archives and Special Collections holds the professional papers of Donald M. Payne from his time as U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district. The materials are related to Congressman Payne’s legislative work, particularly for the

Letter from Representative Gregory Meeks to Donald Payne, 2005 - MSS0078 courtesy of Archives and Special Collections
Letter from Representative Gregory Meeks to Donald Payne, 2005 – Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections MSS0078

House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as his work on behalf of his district and state. There are also background materials on a wide variety of issues, projects, events, and pieces of legislation relevant to Congressman Payne’s career, and materials related to his involvement in congressional organizations and activities, including a large number of press clippings, recorded appearances and speeches, and photographs depicting Congressman Payne with notable public figures and celebrities including Presidents of the United States and several other countries.[8]

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476.

 

[1] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242  accessed 11/17/2020

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_M._Payne accessed 11/17/2020

[3] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242 accessed 11/17/2020

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/donald-m-payne-njs-first-black-congressman-and-an-advocate-for-africa-dies-at-77/2012/03/03/gIQAWjLvuR_story.html accessed 11/17/2020

[5] https://ecadforum.com/2012/03/08/donald-payne-a-farewell-to-a-human-rights-champion/, accessed 11/17/2020.

[6] https://ecadforum.com/2012/03/12/delivering-on-donald-paynes-human-rights-legacy/, accessed 11/17/2020.

[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/donald-m-payne-njs-first-black-congressman-and-an-advocate-for-africa-dies-at-77/2012/03/03/gIQAWjLvuR_story.html, accessed 11/17/2020.

[8] https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/242, accessed 11/17/2020.

Object of the Week: Jennings Petroglyph

Jennings Petroglyph
sandstone
5’ x 4’ x 9.5”
3000-1000 BCE
FIM 610
Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology

 

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

The Jennings Petroglyph, an uncommon example and one of the largest of its kind in New Jersey, was created between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. It was originally located on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River across from Dingmans Ferry in Pike County, Pennsylvania. Meaning “rock carving,” the word petroglyph combines “petro” meaning “rock” and “glyph” meaning “symbol.” The exact significance of the imagery on the petroglyph has been obscured over time, though it is believed to likely be sacred. The petroglyph’s surface features 21 identifiable figures and 12 non-identifiable forms – including carvings of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures as well as dots and circles (cupules). Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Seton Hall, Herbert Kraft (1927-2000), described the images as “lizard-like figures or men with sexual appendages.”[1]

Diagram of the meaning of some of the imagery on the petroglyph
Interpretations of visuals on the petroglyph

The petroglyph was unearthed by Rudyard Jennings in 1965. It was donated to Seton Hall with the intention of protecting it from flooding caused by the proposed Tocks Island dam on the Delaware River site where the petroglyph was previously located. Ultimately, the dam was never built. The petroglyph’s first home at Seton Hall University was in the lobby of Fahy Hall, but it was moved to the second floor of the Walsh Library in August 2015. This move has allowed for easy viewing access by the university community and the public.

View of the Petroglyph on the 2nd floor of the Walsh Library
View of the Jennings Petroglyph on the 2nd floor of the Walsh Library

The Jennings Petroglyph will be featured in an exhibit at the National Scenic Visitors Center (NSVC) in Zionsville, Pennsylvania. The NSVC, founded in 2016, has the ultimate 10-year goal of creating Earthwalk USA, a 300-foot-long, 3D relief map of the United States from California to Maine, along with Alaska and Hawaii in correct geospatial orientation.[2] In the meantime, they have planned a traveling exhibit called Earthwalk Explorer featuring a 16’ x 8’ walkable relief map of the Northeast along with two Geoshows. In both Earthwalk USA and the traveling show, visitors will walk over the relief map in socks so that they can feel the topography of the United States for themselves! Our very own Jennings Petroglyph will be highlighted in one of the Geoshows, which centers on petroglyphs in Pennsylvania and how native groups of the region used them to communicate along trails. In early 2020, Michael Bianco of MZB Productions, Inc. came to Seton Hall to make a high-resolution scan of the petroglyph in-situ in order to create a 3D facsimile.

Image of the petroglyph being scanned
Michael Bianco and Collections Manager Romana Schaeffer scanning the Jennings Petroglyph

The Jennings Petroglyph is part of the Seton Hall University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (SHUMAA) collection. It is but a small part of a vast collection of artifacts from the SHUMAA collection, founded by Seton Hall Professor Herbert Kraft (1927-2000), a leading archaeologist and authority on the Leni Lenape tribe which inhabited New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania at the time Europeans arrived in the Americas.  For almost forty years, Kraft cultivated the collection with artifacts excavated from archaeological digs conducted throughout the region. Kraft was also instrumental in securing donations of artifacts from noted collectors and archaeologists. The SHUMAA collection includes over 26,000 Native American, Asian and African art and artifacts.

 


The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens for use by faculty, students and researchers. For access to this or other objects in our collections, contact us at 973-275-2033 or walshgallery@shu.edu to make a research appointment.

 

[1] https://library.shu.edu/ld.php?content_id=51066456, accessed 11/23/2020.

[2] https://www.nsvc.us/exhibits-features/earthwalk-usa-map/, accessed 11/23/2020.

Object of the Month – #37 Wool Baseball Uniform

#37 Wool Baseball Uniform
wool flannel
mid-20th century
2019.04.0001, 2019.04.0002
Gift of the Smith Family

This wool flannel, short-sleeved Seton Hall University baseball uniform was in use in the 1950s. It was purchased locally from Crelin’s Sport Shops, located at 491 Valley Street in Maplewood, New Jersey. The shop was known for having “Anything in Sports.” While the school colors remain the same, uniforms are now made of polyester. Uniforms today are similar in style, though pants are not cinched at the ankle and knee-length pants are sometimes worn. The baseball program at Seton Hall has had an active presence on campus since its establishment in 1853 and twenty-nine of its players have gone on to play in the major leagues.