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The Newark Experience

African Americans in New Jersey

Afro-Americans in New Jersey: A Short History
Giles R. Wright. New Jersey Historical Commission, 1989.
From the Colonial Period to the 1980s. Available?
New Jersey and the Negro: A Bibliography, 1715-1966
New Jersey Library Association. Bibliography Committee. Trenton, N.J., 1967. Available?

African Colonization Movement

New Jersey's Role in the African Colonization Movement, 1790-1865.
Michael J. Caputo. (Master's Thesis) Montclair State College, 1965. Available?
"Colonizers and Reluctant Colonists: The New Jersey Colonization Society and the Black Community, 1815-1848"
Douglas P. Seaton. New Jersey History 96(1-2), Spring-Summer, 1978, pp. 7-22. Available?
A Word for the African: A Sermon for the Benefit of the American Colonization Society, Delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Newark, July 24, 1825
Rev. William T. Hamilton, Newark, Printed by W. Tuttle & Co., 1825. 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?
A Sketch of the Colonization Enterprise, and of the Soil, Climate and Production of Liberia, in Africa
Colonization Society of the City of Newark. Newark, 183?
Letter to the Editor
Lucius. The Colored American, July 21, 1838, p.86.
Reaction to the Colonization Meeting held in Newark.
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?
Historical Notes on Slavery and Colonization: With Particular Reference to the Efforts Which Have Been Made in Favor of African Colonization in New-Jersey
Heinrich Kronstein. Elizabeth-town, Printed by E. Sanderson, 1842.
Appendix includes a list of the members of the Newark auxiliary colonization society in April 1838 and other documents.

Rise Up Newark

Rise Up Newark
The history of Newark's African American communities (and the ethnic groups with which they interacted) up to 1970. Illustrated with a rich collection of primary documents, including digitized photographs, letters, speeches, maps, videos, oral histories, etc.

African Americans in Newark Up to 1950

Jack Cudjo: Newark's Revolutionary Soldier and First Black Businessman.
Kofi Ayim. New Jersey, Reedbuck, Inc., 2011. Available?
Cudjo Banquante: African Enslaved Soldier Business Owner
New Jersey Historical Society. March 21, 2023.
Bill of Sale for Teunis
"Know all men by these Presents that I Joseph T. Baldwin of the Township of Newark in the County of Essex, For under consideration of the sum of One hundred seventy five dollars to me in hand paid, have bargained and sold unto James Neilson his heirs and assigns a certain negro man of about twenty six years of age named Teunis, to have & to hold said man unto him the said James Neilson his heirs & assigns forever..." April 20, 1814
Mapping Slavery Newark
"This project highlights a few of the countless Newark, New Jersey streets, sites, monuments, and people connected to slavery. It includes the courageous Black free and enslaved activists involved in the Underground Railroad, community builders, and civil rights activists who worked for justice in the same way Harriet Tubman did. It also highlights the ways Newark's businesses and leaders supported and profited from Black enslavement." Organized by the Black Power! 19th Century project.
Ghosts of the Brick City: The History of Black Dispossession, Public Memory, and Urban Renewal in Newark, NJ
Lauren C. O'Brien. (Ph.D. Thesis) Rutgers University-Newark, 2022.
"Traces the continuity of Black dispossession from the physical landscape, the archive, to the creation of public memory in order to illustrate that one of the enduring afterlives of slavery in Newark was the erasure of the significant role enslaved people and their descendants had within the founding of the city."
The Resurrection of a Ghost City: The Fight to Preserve Newark's African Burial Ground
Lauren C. O'Brien. The Public Historian 44(4), 2022, 104-125.
"Highlighting the relationship between urban renewal, historic preservation, and Black land dispossession, this article argues that Black Newarkers’ activism to define the Trinity Church Cemetery as an African burial ground served as a radical political act in legitimizing their history and place within an evolving Newark."
Negro Education in the Public Schools of Newark, New Jersey, During the Nineteenth Century Rutgers-restricted access
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).
Reflections on the Life of Negroes in Newark, 1910-1916
William Ashby. An address delivered to the Frontiers Club, February 16, 1972.
Negroes to Hold Big Newark Convention
New Brunswick Daily Home News May 20, 1922.
"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 Rutgers-restricted access
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 Toll of Tuberculosis Among Negroes in New Jersey
Beatrice A. Myers and Ira De A. Reid. Opportunity: The Journal of Negro Life 10, September 1932, pp. 279-82.
Includes detailed information on tuberculosis among African Americans in Newark 1928-1930.
"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.
E. Mae McCarroll, A.B., M.D., M.S.P.H., 1898- . First Lady of the NMA
W. Montague Cobb. Journal of the National Medical Association 65(6), November 1973, pp. 544-545.
Mae McCorroll, who practiced medicine in Newark for 44 years, was the first African American doctor to be appointed to the staff of Newark City Hospital.
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?
Resolution of the New Jersey State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs
State of New Jersey Constitutional Convention of 1947 Committee on Rights, Privileges, Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions. 1947.
Resolution proposing that equal protection and rights language be added to the New Jersey Constitution.
Club Fidelis, Inc.: 20th Anniversary, October 16, 1955.
Newark, N.J., Holmes Printing Service, 1955. Available?
"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?
Islam Among Urban Blacks: Muslims in Newark, New Jersey: A Social History
Michael Nash. Lanham, Md. University Press of America, 2008. Available?
Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple: A Study in Race, Gender, and African American Religion, 1913-1930
Stephanie Ann Wilms. Ph.D Thesis. University of California Riverside, 2014.
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.

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 1900 and the 1980s, as well as those whose local roots spanned generations. Interviews were conducted in 1995-1999 as a project of the Krueger-Scott Cultural Center.
Krueger Scott Transcripts
The Newark Public Library has transcripts of the Krueger Scott interviews; a number of them are available as part of the Newark Public Library Digital Collections.

Archival Collections

Newark (N.J.) African Americans Collection, 1821-1988
0.42 linear ft. ( 1 Hollinger box). Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available in the Newark Public Library Digital Repository. 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)

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