Noelle Lorraine Williams
Artist, Researcher and Curator
In 2020, the Newark Public Library received a project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State for the virtual and in-house exhibition.
The pop-up exhibition is currently hosted at Rutgers-University Newark in the
Black Power! is one of the most controversial terms of the twentieth century. Newark's 1960s Black Power Movement and the 1967 rebellion dominate discussions about African American activism in Newark. And for good reason it was a piercing, hot wake-up call against the racism and violence that stalked Black lives.
However, many of the powerful ideas about saving Black lives that are evident in Black liberation struggles in the 1960s were also evident and shaped by those in the 1800s.
Let us all explore their courageous actions, innovative ideas and culture whose spirit shaped how we think about justice and democracy today.
- Noelle Lorraine Williams, Curator and Researcher
African Americans in nineteenth-century Newark fought a decades-long battle against injustice and slavery and for Black lives in Newark and in the United States.
Why did the city and state work to prevent African Americans from building community?
Why was relocating free African Americans seen as the best solution to prevent Black rebellion?
In what ways was the Black Power movement of the 1800s similar to the one in the 1960s?
Check out some of the poetry and stories of African American freedom fighters!
Watch poet Khali Raymond perform a poem about Underground Railroad hero Jermain Loguen written by Newark poet and Reverend Elymas Payson.
Hear vocal artist and guitarist Janètza Miranda sing the song of a 19th century Black woman and her baby imprisoned in a Newark jail cell.
What are the existing and destroyed Black Power sites from the 1800s and 1900s in Newark?
Where are some of the places that Blacks sought freedom and lived their lives in greater New Jersey?