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The Newark Experience: Queer Newark

What Does That Mean?

"Nobody Don't Really Know What That Mean": Understandings of "Queer" among Urban LGBTQ Young People of Color"
Vanessa R. Panfil. Journal of Homosexuality May 28, 2019, pp. 1-23.
"Drawing from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 40 urban LGBTQ young people of color in Newark, New Jersey, I explore their uses, understandings, and meanings of queer." Rutgers-restricted Access

Pride Guide

Pride Guide: United We Stand
16th Annual Newark LGBTQ Pride Festival program. 2022.


database contains streaming videos Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn Film Project
"A documentary on the events surrounding the death of Sakia Gunn, a 15-year old African American lesbian who was fatally stabbed in gay hate crime in Newark, New Jersey. The film includes the court hearing, arguments presented by both sides regarding the victim and the accused, and the sentencing." Rutgers-restricted Access
Nobody Knows Her Name: Making Sakia Legible
Kiana Green. Thinking Gender Papers. UCLA Center for the Study of Women, 2009.
Examines "how the narrative of Sakia Gunn’s death, as exemplified by the 2008 documentary film, Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Project, participates in a tradition of politicizing Black death while also exposing that very tradition of political death, as, ironically, the very cultural formation that allows the Gunn murder to remain unknown in U.S. public culture."
database contains streaming videos Out in the Night
Documentary on "The New Jersey 4," four African-American lesbians from Newark who were arrested for assaulting a man who attacked them on a street in New York in 2006. Rutgers-restricted Access

Queer in the Ironbound

Queering Political Economy in Neoliberal Ironbound Newark: Subjectivity and Spacemaking among Brazilian Queer Immigrant Men
Yamil Avivi. Dialogo 18(2), 2015, pp. 105-118.
"This ethnographic account employs textual and spatial-temporal analysis to generate an alternative narrative of gay/queer life and groupings in the Ironbound."
Betina Botox and Lobixomen "Tao Engranados!" Queer Brazilian Televisual Representations Shaping Spatial (Im)possibilities in Newark
Yamil Avivi Garcia. Bilingual Review 33(4), January 2017, pp. 45-59.
"This ethnographic essay examines the ways two “tão engraçados” [very humorous] televisual Brazilian queer representations—those of Betina Botox (a questionably-middle-class gay male from Sāo Paulo) and Lobixomen (a heterosexual man who turns into a wolf in drag under a full moon)—impacted queer Brazilian informants who lived in the Ironbound..." Rutgers-restricted Access
When the Heart Keeps on Beating: Hybridity and Otherness in paulA neves' Poetry
Reinaldo Silva. Interdisciplinary Journal of Portuguese Diaspora Studies 8, 2019, pp. 75-101
"This new voice from the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey heralds a promising first generation of Portuguese American writers whose parents first set foot there in the late 1960s and afterwards. While tapping from her own upbringing in this industrial setting, neves discusses her unique Portuguese American ethnic background from a gendered and lesbian points of view." Rutgers-restricted Access

Marriage as a Priority

"What's the Matter with Newark?: Race, Class, Marriage Politics, and the Limits of Queer Liberalism"
Arlene Stein. IN Marrying Kind? : Debating Same-Sex Marriage within the Lesbian and Gay Movement. Mary Bernstein and Verta Taylor, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 2013, pp.39-65. Rutgers-restricted Access

Queer Newark

Queer Newark
Timothy Stewart-Winter and Whitney Strub
"An examination of the often overlooked queer history of Newark, New Jersey." A scholarly discussion in, "the major, educational, public history website documenting the LGBTQ+ US past."

Queer Newark Oral History Project

A Community's Response to the Problem of Invisibility: The Queer Newark Oral History Project
Darnell L. Moore QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 1(2), Summer 2014, pp.1-14. Rutgers-restricted Access
Queer Newark Oral History Project
Includes video interviews, with transcripts, of LGBTQ individuals associated with Newark, as well as a rich collection of resources including an extensive Queer Newark Bibliography and a History of Queer Club Spaces in Newark.
At Home in Newark: Stories From the Queer Newark Oral History Project
Audio files (along with transcripts) from an exhibit (2017-2018) curated by students in Dr. Mary Rizzo's American Studies and History class, "Place, Community and Public Humanities" at Rutgers University-Newark.
At Home in Newark: Stories From the Queer Newark Oral History Project
Leo Valdez. New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal6(1), January 2020
Review of the November 2019 exhibit at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.


A History of Queer Club Spaces in Newark
"Sanctuary is a collaboration between the Queer Newark Oral History Project of Rutgers University-Newark, Yendor Productions, and the LGBT community of Newark to explore, document, and exhibit the city’s club scene."
Out in Newark: Queer Club Spaces as Sanctuary
Historical panel discussion, October 15, 2014.
[Club Music in Newark],
Blue Newark Culture 1993, 93-155.
  • Hayes, Shelton. "The Club," pp. 126-134. [LeJoc and Club Zanzibar]
  • Albert Murphy, Newark's Poet of Style," pp.135-141. [Photoessay]
  • Jardim, Gary. "Al Murphy and the Club Music Aesthetic," pp. 143-155. Available?
A Journey Through the House: Photo Memoirs of Club Zanzibar
Vincent Bryant. Createspace, 2014.
Newark's legendary dance club of the 1970s and 80s. Available?
Newark After Dark: Sex Work, Gay Bars, Porn Theaters, and the Archives of Illicit Sexuality
Whitney Strub. Newark History Society program, October 26, 2021.
No Sex in Newark: Postindustrial Erotics at the Intersection of Urban and Adult Film History
Whitney Strub. Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58(1), Fall 2018, pp. 175-181
"Newark still hosts the Little Theatre, which has outlasted every porn theater in Manhattan and nearly all in the New York City metropolitan area...From interviews at the Queer Newark Oral History Project...we know that the theater was part of a thriving public sex culture as far back as the 1950s...." Rutgers-restricted Access

Queer Women of Color

"Of Black Lesbians," Hate Crimes, and Crime-Talk: The Sexuality of "Aggression" in the City"
IN Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas. Street Therapists: Race, Affect, and Neoliberal Personhood in Latino Newark. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012, pp. 246-281. Rutgers-restricted Access
"Urban Erotics and Racial Affect in a Neoliberal 'Racial Democracy': Brazilian and Puerto Rican Youth in Newark, New Jersey,"
Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas. Identities 16(5), September 2009, pp.513-547. Rutgers-restricted Access
"Mobilizing After Murder: Black Women Queering Politics and Black Feminism in Newark"
IN Zenzele Isoke, Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp. 97-120. 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
"Erasing Sakia: Who's to Blame?"
Kelly Cogswell and Ana Simo. The Gully Online Magazine June 6, 2003.
"Small Murders: Rethinking News Coverage of Hate Crimes against GLBT People"
Kim Pearson. IN News and Sexuality: Media Portraits of Diversity. Sage Publications, 2006, pp. 159-190.
"This chapter examines how much attention the mainstream press paid to Gunn's murder, as well as the reasoning process behind the decisions journalists made about whether to cover her case and how." Rutgers-restricted Resources
"Sakia Gunn Is a Girl: Queer African American Girlhood in Local and Alternative Media"
IN Sarah Projansky. Spectacular Girls Media Fascination and Celebrity Culture New York, New York University Press, 2014, pp. 155-180.
Analyzes the coverage of Gunn's death in alternative and local media. Rutgers-restricted Access
"Lover: Newark, New Jersey""
Kristal Brent Zook. IN Black Women's Lives: Stories of Power and Pain. New York, Nation Books, 2006, pp. 29-48.
In depth look at Sakia's life and death, based on interviews with family and friends. Available?
"The Politics of Representation for Black Women and the Impossibility of Queering the New Jersey 4/7."
Christina Carney IN Wish to Live : The Hip-hop Feminism Pedagogy Reader. Ruth Nicole Brown and Chamara Jewel Kwakye, eds. New York, Peter Lang, 2012, pp. 71-77. Available?
Wolf Packs: U.S. Carceral Logics and the Case of the New Jersey Four
Leilani Dowell. (Ph.D. Thesis) City University of New York, 2019.
"Examines the case of the New Jersey Seven in order to investigate U.S. logics of carcerality in relation to the sexualities of queer black women, as those logics extend beyond the geographical and institutional site of the prison itself...A turn to Newark in Chapter 3 examines both the rhetorical production of Newark as violent ghetto and the elision of homophobic violence, even as the same neoliberal rhetorics of tolerance that conceptualize Greenwich Village are increasingly used in a Newark undergoing a "revitalization," while examining the practices of capitalist accumulation the promote both ghetto and rehabilitation, uplifting the voices of black queer women who have created a solid and impactful community there." Rutgers-restricted Access
Invisible Pathways: Entrepreneurship by Queer Women of Color in Newark
Kristyn Scorsone. Thesis (M.A.), Rutgers University Newark, May 2017.
"This thesis challenges ideas about gentrification and queer economic power by examining the oral histories of queer women of color who are engaged in entrepreneurial endeavors in the city of Newark, New Jersey."
Invisible Pathways: Public History by Queer Black Women in Newark
Kristyn Scorsone. The Public Historian 41(2), 2019, pp. 190-217. "This essay explores how contemporary black lesbian entrepreneurs in the city of Newark, New Jersey, are engaged in entrepreneurial practices that resist patterns of gentrification. I argue for expanding our definition of public history to account for the business practices and social structures that queer black women in Newark are erecting as a part of their survival." Rutgers-restriced Access

The AIDS Crisis

An Instrumental Case Study: Barriers and Challenges of HIV Prevention Programs for Black MSM
Tiesha Gunnell. (D.H.A. Thesis). University of Phoenix. 2021.
"There is a growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States amongst the African American community, particularly with Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). The sole purpose of this qualitative instrumental case study was to explore the barriers and challenges and how they influence their adherence to HIV prevention programs, of 25 African American MSM, 18-29 years of age, living in Essex County, (Newark, New Jersey)." Rutgers-restricted Access
Newark Community Project for People with AIDS Collection (1987-1990)
Digitized collection from the Newark Public Library. The Newark Community Project for People with AIDS, incorporated in 1988, was a non-profit corporation organized to foster the humane treatment and care of people with AIDS and ARC.
New Jersey AIDS Collection, 1986-
Collection developed in 1986 by the UMDNJ University Libraries Special Collections staff to document the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the state of New Jersey. The Newark Archives Project has identified some of the Newark-related materials in the collection.
The AIDS Epidemic in Newark and Detroit.
Hearings Before the Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives. Ond Hundred and First Congress, First Session. March 27 and April 24, 1989. Washington, DC, Government Printing Office, 1990.
"Responding to the AIDS Crisis in Newark, New Jersey"
Ric Curtis et al. IN When Communities Assess Their AIDS Epidemics: Results of Rapid Assessment of HIV/AIDS in Eleven U.S. Cities. Benjamin P. Bowser, Ernest Quimby, and Merrill Singers, eds. Lanham, Lexington Books, 2007. Available?
Statewide Focus Group Results: HIV Prevention Needs of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
Ann Dey. Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, February 2004.
Includes the results of focus groups at four agencies providing MSM prevention services in Newark.
A Tangled Pathology: How AIDS Became a "Family Disease" in Newark, New Jersey, 1970-1997
Jason M. Chernesky. Thesis (M.A.) Rutgers University, 2013.
"In reframing a problem that was predominately cast as a "gay disease" in North America, AIDS activists in Newark sought to highlight the growing prevalence of HIV and AIDS among urban communities of color. These efforts sought to direct national attention and resources towards affected "at risk" Newarkers by self-consciously portraying HIV and AIDS as a disease of the family."
AIDS is Just a Four Letter Word : An Ethnographic Study of Theodicy and the Social Construction of HIV/AIDS in Newark, New Jersey Rutgers-restricted access
E. Lee (Eugenia Lee) Hancock. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Drew University, 2002.
In Newark HIV/AIDS is a disease of poverty. Uses oral histories to investigate the social processes that shape the lives of the Newark HIV/AIDS community. Available?

Interactions with Police

Stonewalling in the Brick City: Perceptions of and Experiences with Seeking Police Assistance among LGBTQ Citizens
Danielle M. Shields. Social Sciences 10(1), 2021, pp.16-
Analyzes responses of 12 focus groups of Newark LGBTQ participants (N = 98) to examine the circumstances in which LGBTQ people would seek assistance from the police, when they would avoid doing so, and their justifications for avoiding or contacting the police.

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