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Donald Payne, New Jersey’s First Black Congressman, Dies is sad to hear that Donald M. Payne, New Jersey's first Black congressman, has died at 77 after a battle with colon cancer. Along with being the longest-serving member of his state’s congressional delegation, Rep. Payne was a past chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and a staunch advocate of labor, education, and health care. He was also very invested in the health of African nations — Rwanda and Somalia, specifically — and made countless philanthropic trips to that continent.

Payne undoubtedly leaves behind a great legacy, a fact which begs the question: Are there any up-and-coming Black politicians and/or activists who can fill his considerable shoes?

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