bryantstatue

Statue is located in the library of the Stockton College Carnegie Library, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Pacific Avenue.

Text of plaque fronting statue:
Horace J. Bryant, Jr.
1909 - 1983

Horace J. Bryant was the first African American and career employee to be appointed to a State Cabinet position when he was appointed Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance in 1969. In 1972, he was elected Atlantic City Commissioner, and re-elected to a second term in 1976. Mr. Bryant was founder and president of the Northside Union League Federal Credit Union. Born in Lawnside, New Jersey. Graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Additional information:
Horace J. Bryant was an Atlantic City resident for 44 years, and spent many of those years making strides in racial equality within both the city and state government. Bryant was the first black man to run for office in Atlantic City in 1948. In that election, he received the most votes of any independent candidate, but not enough to defeat the incumbent. He ran for office again in 1952, and when this again failed, he turned to new strategies which would change the all-white political atmosphere of the city. A life member of the NAACP, Bryant was vocal on race issues. He advocated that Atlantic City's black residents turn to a system of "bullet ballots," wherein they would vote for only one candidate and ignore everyone else on a ballot. Bryant also led drives to fully integrate Atlantic City's movie theatres in the 1950s, and created the Northside Credit Union to combat banking discrimination. When he was elected as the city's Commissioner, Bryant dedicated himself to increasing opportunities for black citizens to work in City Hall. Boardwalk Empire author Nelson Johnson, who knew Bryant, stated that "When you were around him, you felt like you should be taking notes because what he said was so meaningful."

Bryant died in 1983, and his home street in the city's Venice Park section was renamed in his honor. He was inducted into the Atlantic City Hall of Fame in 1993. The bust which sits in the Carnegie Library was commissioned as part of the renovation works on the building when Stockton College assumed its ownership. Its sculptor is Jennifer Frudakis, a former Margate resident who now lives in Horsham, PA.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, February 8, 2009, April 14, 1983, February 14, 1985, September 30, 1993, and February 26, 2004