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The Newark Experience: African Americans

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African Americans - New Jersey - Newark

African American Newspapers

The Newark Public Library has digitized their African American Newark Newspapers collection. The collection consists of individual issues of African-American newspapers published in Newark, including the Newark Herald, Advance, Herald Advance and New Jersey Herald News published from the 1930s to the 1960s.

The above collection does not include the New Jersey Afro-American, which was published in Newark from 1941 to 1988. Newark Public has the newspaper on microfilm, as does the Rutgers Alexander Library in New Brunswick.

Oral Histories

The Krueger-Scott Oral History Collection
Audio files of over 100 interviews with African American Newarkers who had migrated to the city between 1910-1970, as well as those whose local roots spanned generations. Interviews were conducted in 1995-1999 as a project of the Krueger-Scott Cultural Center.

Archival Collections

Newark (N.J.) African Americans Collection, 1821-1988.
0.42 linear ft. ( 1 Hollinger box). "Articles (Portions of I.F. xeroxed - mostly biographical information from newspapers), Ashby, William (Manuscript of autobiography, "A Morning in Hell," newspaper clippings, etc.), Baraka, Amiri (Newspaper articles), Black Power Conference (Newspaper articles, 1967, forms, press releases, speeches, stickers, etc.), Blacks (Black History Week, Dr. M. Burch honored, 1977, Journal; phamplets; Essex County College, Black History Week Festival, ECCO Supplement, 1980; Black History Month, Proclamation, 1981; Black History Exhibit: "Deep Are Our Roots,"1984, Newark City Hall; Harold Gibson, program; The Francis W. Harper Literary Soc; Material on Cutjoe Banquantue & others, etc.), "Letters to My Father: A Late Correspondence with Harrison M. Sayre (1894-1935), Founder of My Weekly Reader" by Robert E. Sayre, Moorish Science Temple (Material drawn from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, gift of J. Teague, Irvington, N.J.), People of Color Newark 1821 (from tax ratables),"
Newark Public Library Call Number: Main N.J. Ref. MG NWK AFAM Coll (Main)

Listings of African Americans from the Newark City Directories, 1869-1889.
0.42 linear ft. ( 1 Hollinger box). "This collection consists of a copy of listings of African Americans from the Newark City Directories from 1869 to 1889."
Newark Public Library Call Number: Main N.J. Ref. MG NWK African Americans (Main)

African Americans

Afro-Americans in New Jersey: A Short History
Giles R. Wright. New Jersey Historical Commission, 1989.
From the Colonial Period to the 1980s.
New Jersey and the Negro: A Bibliography, 1715-1966.
New Jersey Library Association. Bibliography Committee. Trenton, N.J., 1967. Available?
Jack Cudjo: Newark's Revolutionary Soldier and First Black Businessman.
Kofi Ayim. New Jersey, Reedbuck, Inc., 2011. Available?
Our Duty to our Coloured Population.
Philip Courtland Hay. Newark, N.J., Printed by W. Tuttle & Co., 1826.
A sermon for the benefit of the American Colonization Society, delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Newark, July 23, 1826. Available?
The Colonization Scheme Considered, in Its Rejection by the Colored People--In Its Tendency to Uphold Caste--In Its Unfitness for Christianizing and Civilizing the Aborigines of Africa, and For Putting a Stop to The African Slave: In a Letter to The Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen and The Hon. Benjamin F. Butler
Samuel E. Cornish and Theodore S. Wright, Pastors of the Colored Presbyterian Churches in the Cities of Newark and New York. Newark, N.J., Printed by Aaron Guest, 1840. Available?
Negro Education in the Public Schools of Newark, New Jersey, During the Nineteenth Century.
John R. Anderson. Ed.D. Thesis. Rutgers University, 1972.
Historical and sociological study of segregated public schools in Newark from 1828 to 1909. Extensive statistical tables. Available?
Alpha Lodge No. 116, New Jersey: (An Extract From the Prince Hall Sodality)
Harry E. Davis. The Journal of Negro History 20(2), April 1935, pp. 180-189.
"Alpha Lodge No. 116, of Newark, New Jersey...bears the unique distinction of being the only lodge here made up of both white and colored members and affiliated with a white grand lodge." Among Alpha Lodge's early (1872) African-American members were several engineers, teachers, and a Methodist minister. Rutgers-restricted Access
Notes on Alpha Lodge, No. 116, Newark, N.J.
Harold Van Buren Voorhis. Red Bank, N.J. "Prepared for an delivered to Mystic Brotherhood Lodge no. 21, F.& A.M., Red Bank, N.J. Tuesday, June 3, 1930." Schomburg Library Record
Negro Masonry in the United States.
Harold Van Buren Voorhis. New York, H. Emmerson, 1940.
Part II ("Recognized Negro Freemasonry") devoted to Newark's Alpha Lodge. Available?
Our Colored Brethren: The Story of Alpha Lodge of New Jersey
Harold Van Buren Voorhis. New York, H. Emmerson, 1960. Available?
James Miller Baxter, Newark Principal.
Wilson Moorman. Thesis (M.A.), Newark State College, 1961.
James Miller Baxter (1845-1909), the first African-American school administrator in the Newark school system, served as the principal of the Colored School of Newark between 1869 and 1873. Available?
"Newark's African American Workforce,"
Excerpts from rough draft of Earning a Living, a Federal Writer's Project manuscript delailing Newark's African American workforce before and after World War I. Part of the New Jersey Ethnological Survey Records at the New Jersey State Archives.
The Classified Directory or Negro Business Interests. Professions of Essex County
Compiled by Ralph WM. Nixon for the Bureau of Negro Intelligence. Newark, New Jersey, 1920.
In additions to a classified list of businesses, includes an introduction to the city of Newark and essays on "The Colored Girl in the New Industrial Situation" (Cecelia Dabaniss Saunders) and "Industrial Opportunity for the Negro Girl in Newark," (William H. Ashby).
"The Beleaguered City as Promised Land: Blacks in Newark, 1917-1947."
Clement Alexander Price. IN A New Jersey Anthology. Edited and Compiled by Maxine N. Lurie. Reprint of 1994 edition. Newark, New Jersey Historical Society, 2002, pp. 433-461. Available?
The Afro-American Community of Newark, 1917-1947: A Social History.
Clement Alexander Price. Ph. D. Thesis. Rutgers University, 1975. Available?
African-American Woman Working at a Loom, Newark, 1917.
William Cone photograph
Interview with Mildred Arnold
Transcript of an interview with Mildred Arnold, an African-American woman born in South Carolina who moved to Newark in 1924 at the age of 8. Part of the New Jersey Historical Commission's New Jersey Multi-Ethnic Oral History Project.
"The Inter-Racial Committee of Montclair, New Jersey: Report of Survey of Hospital Committee,"
John A. Kenney. Journal of the National Medical Association 23(3), July-September 1931, 97-109.
Includes (pp. 99-101) the transcript of a radio address by Dr. Kenney on "The Hospital Facilities for Negroes in Newark and Essex County, N.J." broadcast over Station WNJ on Friday evening, June 5, 1931.
Reports on Newark's African American Population
1934 reports "detailing the lack of opportunities available to African Americans from Newark who were out of work."
Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50.
Barbara J. Kukla. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.
Discusses Newark as a center for African American music and entertainment in the the first half of the 20th century. Based on interviews with musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, bartenders, waitresses and nightclub owners and their families. Available?
1936 Newark Federal Theater Projects. [Photographs]
Most of African American performers.
"African American Stories: The Newark Eagles,"
Jersey Journeys 2000, no. 4 (February 2000).
The Newark Eagles, the outstanding Negro Leagues baseball team, played in Newark from 1937 to 1948. Profile of owner Effa Manley and players Monte Irvin and Larry Doby.
"The Struggle to Desegregate Newark: Black Middle Class Militancy in New Jersey, 1932-1947,"
Clement Alexander Price. New Jersey History 99(3/4), 1981, 215-228. Available?
To Secure These Rights : A Study of the Political Concerns and Development of the Black Community in Newark, New Jersey, During the Second World War, 1941-1945.
William C. Martucci. Thesis (B.A.), Rutgers University, 1974.
A Henry Rutgers thesis. Available?
Club Fidelis, Inc.: 20th Anniversary, October 16, 1955.
Newark, N.J., Holmes Printing Service, 1955. Available?
Employment Practices in Selected Retail Stores.
Marion L. Courtney. Trenton, New Jersey Department of Education, Division Against Discrimination, December 1956.
Survey of sixty-four retail stores in Newark, East Orange, Montclair, Bloomfield, Paterson, Passaic, Elizabeth, Plainfield, Trenton, Camden and Atlantic City. Focuses on minority, especially African-American, employment but also includes statistics on the employment of Jews and Italian-Americans.
Group Relations in Newark, 1957: Problems, Prospects and a Program for Research.
Chester Rapkin, Eunice Grier, and George Grier. Prepared for the Mayor's Commission on Group Relations. New York, 1957. Available?
Newark: A City in Transition.
Market Planning Corporation. Newark, N.J., 1959. 3 volumes.
Prepared for the Mayor's Commission on Group Relations. Vol. 1: The Characteristics of the Population. Vol. 2: Resident's Views on Inter-Group Relations and Statistical Tables. Vol. 3: Summary and Recommendations. Available?
Blacks and Jews in the City of Opportunity : Newark, New Jersey, 1900-1967.
Clement Alexander Price. 1994.
Paper presented at the Jewish Historical Society of Metrowest on June 13, 1994.
"The Black Experience in Newark: The Growth of the Ghetto, 1870, 1970."
Kenneth T. Jackson and Barbara B. Jackson. IN New Jersey Since 1860: New Findings and Interpretations. Edited by William C. Wright. Trenton, New Jersey Historical Commission, 1972. Available?
"Class and Ethnic Political Relations in Newark, New Jersey: Blacks and Italians,"
Gwendolyn Mikell. IN Cities of the United States: Studies in Urban Anthropology. Edited by Leith Mullings. New York, Columbia University Press, 1987, pp. 71-98.
"Ae study of Newark, New Jersey, where ethnic conflict, characteristic of the late 1960s and early 1970s, has its roots in the historical class development and in interethnic relations since 1900. As economic conditions changed in the mid-1970s, allowing for the penetration of professionals into public and private bureaucracies, the competition between blacks and Italians was tempered." Available?

Legitimized Blackness? Kwanzaa, Citizenship, and Newark
Reniqua Allen. Western Journal of Black Studies 37(4), Winter 2013, pp. 272-284.
"This paper explores the history of Kwanzaa in Newark, New Jersey, examining how some of the first Kwanzaas were celebrated, the role the holiday has played in legitimizing "blackness," and also the significance and impact that the holiday has had on members of the community." Rutgers-restricted Access
Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America.
Kevin J. Mumford. New York, New York University Press, 2007. Available?

From Zion to Brick City: What's Going On?: Newark and the Legacy of the Sixties.
Linda Caldwell Epps. Thesis (D. Litt.), Drew University, 2010.  Available?

The Persistent Minority: The Black Political Experience in Newark.
Robert Curvin. Thesis (Ph.D), Princeton University, 1975.
Looks at Kenneth Gibson's first term as Newark mayor (1970-1974); concludes that "the lack of substantial change during Gibson's first term is rooted in economic, political, and social structure that operates to protect the status quo, the wealth of the already affluent, and the position and control of those already in power...More specifically, this study attempts to show how a pluralistic society works, over time, to thwart the goals of an oppressed group, even when it becomes a 'majority' in a given jurisdiction." Avaiable?
The Making of the New Ark: Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), the Newark Congress of African People, and the Modern Black Convention Movement: A History of the Black Revolt and the New Nationalism, 1966-1976.
Komozi Woodard. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1991. Available?
"It's Nation Time in NewArk: Amiri Baraka and the Black Power Experiments in Newark, New Jersey,"
Komozi Woodard. IN Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980. Edited by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 287-311. Available?
Narrating Muslim Masculinities: The Fruit of Islam and the Quest for Black Redemption
Zain Abdullah. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men 1(1), Autumn 2012, pp. 141-177.
"During the modern Civil Rights and Black Nationalist movements, struggles for racial equality were represented by a quest for manhood...And the Fruit [of Islam] in cities like Newark symbolized the presence of a new Black manhood...This article presents an exploration of masculinist performances, or more specifically how the Fruit of Islam displayed different kinds of masculinities, and the role these practices played in the Black struggle toward liberation and redemption." Based on eight life histories of former members of Newark's Temple No. 25. Rutgers-restricted Access
Social Mix in U.S. Suburbs: Organized and Informal Interventions in Response to Black Settlement
Laura Pangallozzi. Thesis (Ph.D), New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2014.
"This project considers the political, social, and cultural geography of black settlement in the inner suburbs of Newark between approximately 1970 and 2010." Available?
When I was Comin' Up: An Oral History of Aged Blacks.
Compiled by Audrey Olsen Faulkner. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1982.
"Life histories of elderly black people in Newark, N.J. from tape recorded reminiscences collected as a project of the Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work." Available?
We Came and Stayed: Coyt Jones/Ras Baraka
Video mingling an interview with Coyt Jones, the father of poet and activist Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka, from the 1990s with an interview with his grandson, Ras Baraka, the current mayor of Newark. Jones came to Newark from South Carolina in 1927. First of a series of stories about families who migrated to Newark scheduled to appear in Newest Americans, a new (Spring 2015) "experiment in collaborative storytelling" from the Rutgers University-Newark Center on Migration and the Global City and the Rutgers University-Newark Department of Arts, Culture and Media.
"Ordinary Miseries,"
Helen M. Stummer. Society 24(3), March/April 1987, 83-
Photo essay. Daily life in Newark's Central Ward in the 1980s. Available?
No Easy Walk: The Central Ward.
Helen M. Stummer. Exhibit curated by Thalia Doukas. Newark, N.J., City Without Walls, 1988. Available?
No Easy Walk: Newark, 1980-1993.
Helen M. Stummer. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.
Photo essay, covering over a ten-year span, focusing on one family living in Newark's Central Ward. Available?

Photographer Helen Stummer has been documenting the lives of the poorest of the poor in Newark since the early 1980s. In addition to the above publications, she also has a number of photo collections online:

Photos from the Newark Project
Watching Children Grow
How Children Play
Rest in Peace: Urban Caring and Grieving
322 Irvine Turner Boulevard
The Demolition of 322 Irvine Turner Boulevard (1997)

"Talkin' Bout a Crisis: The History of Black Newark. An Interview with Clement Price,"
Blue Newark Culture 1990, 28-45. Available?
The Political Spaces of Black Women in the City: Identity, Agency, and the Flow of Social Capital in Newark, NJ.
Kellie Darice Wilson. Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2007.
"This project explores U.S. Black women's participation in social networks that enable political mobilizations in Newark, NJ." Available?
"The Effects of Centralized Government Authority on Black and Latino Political Empowerment"
Domingo Morel. Political Research Quarterly 69(2), June 2016, pp. 347-360.
"To assess the effects of centralized government on political empowerment among racial minorities, this article examines how state takeovers of local school districts have affected black and Latino descriptive representation on local school boards. Using an original dataset of state takeovers of local school districts from 1989 to 2013, as well as case study analysis of Newark, New Jersey, this article shows that centralization affects communities differently according to the level of political empowerment they have at the time of centralization." Rutgers-restricted Access
"Becoming American, Becoming Black? Urban Competency, Racialized Spaces, and the Politics of Citizenship among Brazilian and Puerto Rican Youth in Newark,"
Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 14, 2007, 85-109.
"This essay examines the performance of 'race,' particularly the appropriation of 'Blackness,' among U.S.-born Latinos and Latin American migrants in two neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey." Available? Rutgers-restricted Access
"Can't I Be Seen? Can't I Be Heard? Black Women Queering Politics in Newark"
Zenzele Isoke. Gender, Place and Culture 21(3), 2014, pp. 353-369.
"I explore how black women embraced a set of oppositional spatial practices to resist the intersectional effects of misogyny, homo/transphobia, racism, and poverty in Newark, New Jersey. I reconstruct the creation of the Newark Pride Alliance, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer coalition that mobilized in 2003 and 2004, after the death of Sakia Gunn. Exploring migrations between ‘black women,’ ‘black queer’ and ‘black feminist,’ I examine how black women respatialized social capital and enacted resistance." Rutgers-restricted Access
Interrogating Diasporic Identity and Media Distribution Flows, Reception Practices, and Video Film Interpretations of Nollywood Audiences in Newark, New Jersey
Kaia Niambi Shivers. Thesis (Ph.D.). Rutgers University New Brunswick, 2015
"This dissertation examines how the distribution, consumption, and interpretation of “Nollywood” contribute to identity among African-Americans, Africans, and Afro-Caribbeans who live, work, or socialize in Newark, New Jersey. It also shows how the influx of movies from Nigeria and Ghana changes the media landscape of a city that has a place identity of being a 'black city.'"
NOTE: Access embargoed at author's request. Will become publicly available after October 30th, 2017.