The Institute staff mourns the loss of our beloved director, Dr. Clement Price, who passed away on November 5, 2014. The following articles are a testament to his ability to touch so many lives in such a meaningful way.

Clement Price and African and African American History

Clement Price founded the Marion Thompson-Wright lecture series in 1980, a series that in time gained the attention of large numbers of academics. Nowhere else in the country, over decades, did first-class scholars lecture while not talking down to listeners from the community as during the Thompson-Wright lecture at the Paul Robeson Center in Newark. The absence of a divide between scholars and others owed much to Clement Price’s way of relating to his own students in history classes at Rutgers in the 1970s. It was a time of especially smart students from whom Price was known at times to take advice, even altering reading lists at the suggestion of very bright students who were reading widely. Some of those students have since been in the audience for Thompson-Wright lectures. Consequently, part of the initial impulse that led Price to look for cutting-edge scholarship continued with the Thompson-Wright series to make it perhaps the most distinguished lecture series directed by African Americans in the 20th century. That was my conclusion sometime after Clem and Giles Wright, Jr., his impressive collaborator, launched the series in 1980.

For a while, however, I had concluded that Chicago’s Amistad Society, which I headed, had something of an edge not only because we invited an array of talented artists and scholars to address Chicago audiences but helped design the curriculum of the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964. Work with the Summer Project, a singular honor, I once thought had earned us an edge. In time, however, I realized that the social justice issues taken up by the civil rights movement had long been central to Clem’s life. Moreover, such issues were represented by many in the sophisticated audiences that numbered as many as one thousand on the Marion Thompson-Wright day in Newark. Indeed, Clem continued teaching by relating the movement to relevant scholarship over the entire course of the lecture series. When I said to David Roediger, at the time Distinguished Professor of History at the U. of Illinois, “You are certain to be invited to participate in the Marion Thompson-Wright lecture seri es,” the response was, “I’ve already been invited.”

While a far more detailed treatment of the Thompson-Wright lecture series is merited, we know that the Amistad Society promoted African American and African history from 1960 to 1964. In February 2015, the Marion Thompson-Wright lecture series will be in its thirty-fifth year. There is no other lecture series of such quality and reach in America.

-Sterling Stuckey, Professor Emeritus of History U. of California, Riverside, California


On His Life
Video of the Funeral Service at Bethany
Rutgers-Newark: Office of Communications
NJ.Com: By Mark Di Ionno/The Star-Ledger
Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture: By Lonnie G. Bunch III By Naomi Nix/NJ Advance Media for
NJ Spotlight: By John Mooney
New Jersey Monthly
New Jersey Monthly
Rutgers Magazine: By Bill Glovin
New York Times: By Douglas Martin
Rutgers-Newark By Linda Stamato/NJ Voces
New Jersey Jewish News: By Robert Wiener/NJJN Staff Writer
Rutgers Magazine By Naomi Nix/NJ Advance Media for By Ted Sherman/NJ Advance Media for By Jessice Mazzola/NJ Advance Meda for
NJTV News: By Michael Hill/Correspondent
NJ.Com: By Naomi Nix/NJ Advance Media for
PolitickerNJ: By Mark Bonam
Newark Trust for Education: By Ross Danis
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities: By Howard Gillette By Kelly Heyboer
New Jersey Jewish News: By Robert Wiener
Collected Works
Epilogue: History and Memory: Why it Matters That We Remember
The Foundations of Contemporary African American Life and History
Works from the Bank of America Collection
Perspectives: Is the Past Still Prologue?
Public Spaces: Where People Meet and Talk
The New Rwanda; Prosperity and the Public Good
Ben Jone's Modernist Palette
The New Jersey Jewish News
The Criterion Collection of Films featuring Paul Robeson
Journal of African American History
Historicizing Katrina
A project of the New Jersey Historical Society
Documentary film for NJ and NY public television
Address at The University of Scranton
Lecture at the Chatauqua Institution
Address at the Smithsonian Institution