Clement Price Memorial at Justice William Brennan Park

BY lyanne


On a beautiful sunny afternoon, the late Dr. Clement Alexander Price, former Newark historian and scholar, now be permanently remembrance with a memorial in the city he loved to call home.  The Mayor Ras Baraka , the Essex County executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.Bob Curvin, and Guy Sterling and others met at the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Park,  adjacent to the historic Essex County Court house.

Brennan Park, is a tranquil little oasis of a green space, a much-expanded version of the former Gummere Park, is a triangle green space bounded by the Historic Essex County Courthouse, Springfield Avenue, and MLK Boulevard. 13th Avenue used to lie close in to the Courthouse, but it has been closed and made part of that park and, west of MLK, part of another park alongside the Hall of Records and Veterans Courthouse.  Additionally, worth noted Newarker’s in memorial there are the previous Newark historian and Liberian Charles F. Cummings, bust by sculptress Helene Massey-Hemmans and a inscription written by Newark novelist Phillip Roth.


Also, there is a plaque for Lena Griffith, recognized for the Griffith Music Foundation.  Lena Donaldson Griffith was born in Iowa in 1880 and moved to New Jersey in 1907. She was married to Parker O. Griffith, co-founder of the Griffith Piano Company, which operated at 605 Broad Street in Newark. Using the piano company as her springboard, she founded the Griffith Music Foundation, which sponsored music competitions for children, held lecture series and music appreciation classes, and hosted big-name concerts at the Mosque Theater on Broad Street, which is now Symphony Hall.


A permanent memorial plague for Dr Price who died last year at age 69.  A parade of a who’s who in Newark took the podium one by one to remember the late historian and scholar, including his closest sibling, older brother James Price Jr. “With this plaque placed in these grounds of justice we further remind ourselves that that is in fact true that people will see Clement’s plaque and call his name.” Mayor Ras Baraka says he hopes future generations will learn from not only his historical knowledge of the city, but love for it as well. “That inspires people to want to continue doing the legacy of what Clement was doing, or Charles Cummings, or my father, or any of these people that were here in the city trying to lay the history down for us.

The bronze plaque honoring the life and legacy if the late Dr. Price begins with a quote from a traditional Negro Spiritual: “ Oh, what a beautiful city, twelve gates to the city. Hallelujah. It lies in the park next to the Essex County Historic Courthouse, a building he helped to restore more than 20 years ago. The annual conference is named for East Orange native Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneer in African American historiography and race relations in New Jersey, who was the first professionally trained woman historian in the United States. Over the decades, the conference has drawn thousands of people to Rutgers University Newark Campus while attracting some of the nation’s foremost scholars in African and African American history and culture. It is one of the nation’s leading scholarly programs specifically devoted to enhancing the historical literacy of an intercultural community. Note;  The Plague has a typo on highlighting Dr Prices Marion Thompson Wright award, the plague reads  Marian Thomas Wright.



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