Statement prepared by Junius Williams, head of the Newark Area Planning Association (NAPA), explaining the political implications of the planned Route 75 construction on the 1970 mayoral election. Route 75, an eight lane highway planned to run North to South, would have cut the Central Ward in half and displaced thousands of Black and Puerto Rican residents, thereby eliminating them from the voting rolls of the Central Ward.
In this essay, Stanley Winters, a veteran organizer in the Clinton Hill neighborhood, describes the interrelated nature of urban renewal politics and struggles for civil rights. Because the vast majority of urban renewal policy makers were white, Black and Puerto Rican communities had little representation in projects that they were disproportionately impacted by. Winters also argues that urban renewal projects were being utilized for the benefit of business interests, rather than community interests.
Report by Works Progress Administration staff writers in the 1930s describing the living conditions of Newark’s African American communities in the city’s Third Ward. — Credit: NJ State Archives
Report by the Newark Interracial Commission in the 1930s describing the conditions faced by African American migrants in Newark. — Credit: Newark Public Library