About

Mission

Our mission is to develop a powerful multimedia interactive archive to teach the lessons of African American struggle for empowerment in the nation’s major urban centers in the North, focusing on the era of the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. “The North” is a new educational tool for all people, but primarily for youth in grade school through college and beyond, to enable research and to preserve the record of those people who were “foot soldiers” in the Civil Rights, Black Power and other Movements in the North. It is a means to teach social justice issues through history of the African American struggle for power, and keep these stories alive for generations to come.

Vision

We envision The North as a multimedia, interdisciplinary, and interactive digital archive that:

  • Collects the stories of resistance in urban centers, primarily in the North, remembering that the storytellers grow older each day; and the time is now if we want to hear their stories.
  • Serves as a repository for the accumulation of written, oral and visual evidence that reveals the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics of the many phases of the struggle for freedom by black people and their supporters in the urban North, primarily in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Shows the influence of Civil Rights Movement of the South, on such later Movements as Black Power, the Women’s Rights Movement, the organizing efforts to elect the first wave of black mayors and other black politicians in the 1970s; and the subsequent election of President Obama.
  • Provides a vehicle to introduce the leaders, but also the stories as told by the “foot soldiers” of the Northern and urban experience.
  • Helps researchers and students of history to develop a critical theory of race and class as it played out in the challenges, successes, and failures of urban black politics based on the stories and analysis of northern and urban movements for black empowerment in the period stretching from the 1950s to the present, but with particular emphasis on the 1960s and 70s.
  • Serves as a resource for the teaching of black political history at the college and grade school level, in collaboration with the faculty of Rutgers Newark and the Newark Public Schools.
  • Serves as a resource for a new generation of activists and advocates engaged on the front line of struggle, such as Black Lives Matter.
Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante  violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

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, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America.

These stories must be told - Junius Williams

Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

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, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America.

Dedication

We dedicate this installment of The North to Robert Curvin, civil rights activist, Newark community leader, and scholar.
  • This first episode (Newark) is presented in partnership with the Turrell Fund, the Fund for Newark’s Future, Rutgers University-Newark, Washington University of St. Louis, the Newark Public Schools, the City of Newark, the SNCC Legacy Project (Duke University), the Newark Public Library, and filmmakers Sandra King, Robert Curvin, and Robert Machover. 

  • The Center for Education and Juvenile Justice, Inc. (CEJJ, Inc.) was incorporated in 2011 as a community-based institution to help troubled youth gain knowledge and positive outcomes through education and advocacy by caring adults. CEJJ endeavors to provide a means to teach young people (grade school through college) who they are through analysis of history and social studies. It is our vision that young people will learn to navigate peacefully and successfully through the obstacles that impede them in major urban centers, Through this website, with its collection of information and critical analysis, initially of Newark; and with its partnership with Rutgers Newark, and the Newark Public Schools, new methodologies of teaching and learning will evolve to facilitate fully actualized persons and productive citizens at home and abroad.

    • Gina Nisbeth, Board Chairman and Director Citi Community Capital
    • Peter Harvey Esq., former Atty. General, New Jersey
    • John B. Williams, former Vice President, Public Welfare Foundation
    • Ryan Haygood, Esq. CEO and President, NJ Institute of Social Justice
    • Wilma Grey, Former Exec. Director, Newark Public Library
    • Junea Williams-Edmund, Esq., Montclair State University
    • Robert Picket, Attorney 
    • Amina Baraka, Former Chair, Women’s Division of the Committee For  Unified Newark
    • Tanya Bentley, Editor, Due Process
    • Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark.
    • Courtland Cox, Board President, SNCC Legacy Project
    • Dr. Robert Curvin, Visiting Professor, Rutgers University; author of the book Inside Newark; former Chairman of Newark CORE (1960s). Now deceased.
    • Tom Hayden, author, former state Senator of California; founder of the Students for a Democratic Society.
    • Rev. M. William Howard, Former Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church.
    • Phil Hutchings, member, Newark Community Union Project (1964-67), and Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (1968).
    • John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University- Newark
    • Karen Spellman, Board of Directors, SNCC Legacy Project
    • William Strickland, Associate Professor (Retired), University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
    • Komozi Woodard, Professor, Sarah Lawrence University, New York; author of the book A Nation Within a Nation and a former member of the Committee for Unified Newark.
  • Junius Williams, Esq. | Producer

    Peter Blackmer | Lead Researcher

    James Amemasor | Researcher

    Teresa Vega | Researcher

    Katie Singer | Researcher

    Krista White | Digital Humanities Librarian and Head, Media Services Library Faculty, John Cotton Dana Library

    Justine Hunter | Video and Audio Editor

    Igor Alves | Videographer

    Mosaic Strategies Group | CTO, Web Design and Development

    William Strickland | Project Advisor

  • Collections Drawn From: Over 25 collections of documents, photographs, videos, and artifacts from institutions including: the Newark Public Library, City of Newark Archives and Records Management Center, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University- New Brunswick, New Jersey State Archives, Washington University of St. Louis, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, and the National Archives.

    List of Collections (Partial)

    • Advance Newspaper
    • Al Henderson Photograph Collection
    • Alexander Mark Papers
    • American Civil Liberties Union Collection
    • Amiri Baraka Papers
    • Daniel Sutherland Anthony Papers
    • Douglas Eldridge Collection
    • Fred Means Collection
    • Gustav Heningburg Collection
    • Harold A. Lett Papers
    • Henry Hampton Collection
    • Junius Williams Collection
    • LBJ Presidential Library
    • Library of Congress
    • Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson Collection
    • National Archives
    • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Collection
    • Newark Elections Collection
    • Newark Evening News
    • Newark Housing Authority Files
    • Newark Human Rights Commission
    • Newark Legal Services Project Reports
    • Newark Nationality Groups Collection
    • Newark Public Library Broadsides Collection
    • NJ Riots Collection
    • Office of Economic Opportunity Films
    • Records of the Governor’s Select Commission on Civil Disorder
    • Robert Curvin Collection
    • Robert Machover Films
    • Rutgers University Law Library
    • Sandra King Films
    • Stanley Winters Papers
    • Stanley Winters Scrapbooks
    • The New Jersey Afro-American
    • The Star-Ledger
    • WPA Collection