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New York University Press
Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America

Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America

by Kevin MumfordKevin Mumford
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Newark’s volatile past is infamous. The city has become synonymous with the Black Power movement and urban crisis. Its history reveals a vibrant and contentious political culture punctuated by traditional civic pride and an understudied tradition of protest in the black community. Newark charts this important city's place in the nation, from its founding in 1666 by a dissident Puritan as a refuge from intolerance, through the days of Jim Crow and World War II civil rights activism, to the height of postwar integration and the election of its first black mayor.
In this broad and balanced history of Newark, Kevin Mumford applies the concept of the public sphere to the problem of race relations, demonstrating how political ideas and print culture were instrumental in shaping African American consciousness. He draws on both public and personal archives, interpreting official documents—such as newspapers, commission testimony, and government records—alongside interviews, political flyers, meeting minutes, and rare photos.
From the migration out of the South to the rise of public housing and ethnic conflict, Newark explains the impact of African Americans on the reconstruction of American cities in the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814795637
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2008
Series: American History and Culture Series , #10
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kevin Mumford is Associate Professor of History and African American studies at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century.

Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations



The Central Ward and the Rites of the Public Sphere

Double V in New Jersey

The Construction of Integration

The Limits of Interracial Activism

Brutal Realities and the Roots of the Disorders


Testimonies to Violation and Violence

The Reconstruction of Black Womanhood

Baraka v. Imperiale: The Excesses of Racial Nationalism

Black Power in Newark




About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“Excellent, lively, and learned. . . . An engaging and unsettling study of the city.”
-The Bloomsbury Review


“From the city's early days, where African-Americans fought for recognition and dignity, to their ascension to elected office in the midst of the Black Power movement, and then through countless though crucial fragments as new power brokers emerged amid old differences in vision, tactics and goals, Newark is spellbinding, and worth your


&8220;Mumford explores the devastating effect of the riots and how the city police, state police, and National Guard escalated the violence. He raises the controversial possibility that female looters stripping store mannequins may have been making a social statement about economic inequality. He also discusses such divisive personalities as Anthony Imperiale of the Citizens Council, with his anti-black sentiments, and the poet Amiri Baraka, who melded black nationalism with anti-white and, occasionally, anti- Semitic rhetoric.”
-New Jersey Star Ledger


“Meticulously researched and engagingly written, Newark tells an important story. Portraying a city that functions as an archetype for Black Power in urban politics, Mumford writes with great sympathy for an earlier liberal integrationist tradition, periodizing and explaining its rise and fall carefully, eloquently, and persuasively.”
-David Roediger,author of Working toward Whiteness

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