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#RealTalk: Who will tell our story?

If people don’t tell their own stories about black power, their own adventures and interpretations of “the truth” as they saw it, what will happen to their individual and collective voices? A need to record these voices and educate our next generation birthed The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America. Our interactive archive preserves the stories of the “foot soldiers” in the Civil Rights and other Movements in the North, starting with Newark, NJ. 

“The North” identifies and highlights organizations and individuals who were instrumental in advancing the cause of black empowerment in each city studied; and the opposition they faced in critical steps along the way. 

The North: Newark

Choose a chapter to get started



Who's Got The Power? Pre-1950s


The Emergence of Black Power 1950-1960


Power & Politics Before and After The Newark Rebellion 1960-1970

Press Play: Hear Their Voices

 Visualize the Journey

  • The Great Migrations (1900-1950)

    The Great Migrations (1900-1950)

    A husband and wife sit inside their apartment at 22 Clayton Street. (New Jersey State Archives)
  • A Culture of Resistance (1930-1960)

    A Culture of Resistance (1930-1960)

    Rally held by supporters of Father Divine, who had an estimated 5,000 followers in Newark at the peak of his popularity and influence. (Newark Public Library)
  • Demanding Police Reform (1965)

    Demanding Police Reform (1965)

    Newark residents join a march led by James Farmer and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to demand a police review board. (American Civil Liberties Union)
  • The Newark Rebellion (1967)

    The Newark Rebellion (1967)

    National Guardsmen detain three men during the Newark Rebellion (Newark Public Library)
  • National Conference on Black Power (1967)

    National Conference on Black Power (1967)

    Amiri Baraka addresses a press conference inside the Spirit House (Amiri Baraka Papers, Columbia University)
  • The Election of Mayor Ken Gibson (1970)

    The Election of Mayor Ken Gibson (1970)

    Ken Gibson (right) chats with James Brown and one of the “Gibson Girls” during a campaign event. (Amiri Baraka Papers, Columbia University)

But then one day we looked around and realized that many of our friends (and enemies) who made that journey, or similar journeys, were no longer with us….to laugh with, relive old conquests, or just tell lies. Too many have moved to places unknown, gotten sick, or passed on to the next life.

So many of our collective stories go untold.

These stories must be told.

– Junius Williams, Civil Rights Leader –