Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation

Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation

by Robert Curvin


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Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation by Robert Curvin

For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its vibrant past. How accurate is this prediction? Is Newark on the verge of revitalization? Robert Curvin, who was one of New Jersey’s outstanding civil rights leaders, examines the city, chronicling its history, politics, and culture. Throughout the pages of Inside Newark, Curvin approaches his story both as an insider who is rooting for Newark and as an objective social scientist illuminating the causes and effects of sweeping changes in the city

Based on historical records and revealing interviews with over one hundred residents and officials, Inside Newark traces Newark’s history from the 1950s, when the city was a thriving industrial center, to the era of Mayor Cory Booker. Along the way, Curvin covers the disturbances of July 1967, called a riot by the media and a rebellion by residents; the administration of Kenneth Gibson, the first black mayor of a large northeastern city; and the era of Sharpe James, who was found guilty of corruption. Curvin examines damaging housing and mortgage policies, the state takeover of the failing school system, the persistence of corruption and patronage, Newark’s shifting ethnic and racial composition, positive developments in housing and business complexes, and the reign of ambitious mayor Cory Booker.

Inside Newark reveals a central weakness that continues to plague Newark—that throughout this history, elected officials have not risen to the challenges they have faced.  Curvin calls on those in positions of influence to work for the social and economic improvement of all groups and concludes with suggestions for change, focusing on education reform, civic participation, financial management, partnerships with agencies and business, improving Newark’s City Council, and limiting the term of the mayor. If Newark’s leadership can encompass these changes, Newark will have a chance at a true turnaround. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813565712
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 07/09/2014
Series: Rivergate Regionals Collection
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,039,927
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 ROBERT CURVIN authored Inside Newark while a visiting scholar at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He passed away in 2015. The New York Times said he was "a fiercely loyal advocate for Newark who never gave up on his troubled city and devoted a scholarly career to alleviating urban poverty."  

"Dr. Curvin was a co-founder of the Newark chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, successfully lobbied to integrate construction jobs in the early 1960s, earned a doctorate from Princeton, helped make Kenneth A. Gibson the first black mayor of a major Northeast city when he won election in Newark in 1970, and was a Ford Foundation official.

He also served on the editorial board of The New York Times for nearly six years and was a dean at the New School in Manhattan."

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: A Newarker Examines His City 1

1 About Newark 7

2 Winds of Change 35

3 The Collapse of the Machine 65

4 Rebellion and City Politics 100

5 Political Mobilization in Black Newark 128

6 The Arrival of Black Power 145

7 The Dancing Mayor 186

8 Black Mayor on a White Horse 216

9 Pity the Children 262

Conclusion: The Search for Transformation 302

Notes 317

Index 347

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