By Jonathan L. Wharton (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Post-Racial Change Is Gonna Come: Newark, Cory Booker, and the Transformation of Urban America
In fact, Baraka was arrested during the riots, and the police beat him and framed him for gun possession. ”127 Coincidentally, the ﬁrst National Black Power Conference was held in Newark the same month as the riots. National Black leaders, as well as local leaders like Baraka, advocated more local control in their communities. The conference was supposed to have 400 delegates, but more than 1,000 were present. 128 Certainly Stokley Carmichael and Charles Hamilton’s call for Black Power resonated with Baraka and many Black inner-city Newarkers.
And much of the urban renewal taking place in various Newark neighborhoods was related to razing 1950s and 1960s government high-rise apartments for low-income families. 194 But NHA Director Harold Lucas argues that the agency focused much of its attention on relocating families and addressing the problem of so many vacant and run-down units. Moreover, the city had become such a “reservoir” for many poor families who relocated from nearby Essex County towns that providing them with adequate housing was the NHA’s chief concern and most pressing issue.
Gibson and the council eventually negotiated on this issue, but only after the council introduced legislation threatening to control all ﬁnancial matters dealing with outside funding. Toward the end of his ﬁrst term, Gibson had gained little ground with the council even though they had to make mutual decisions on grants, applications, and other matters. 162 At this time, City Hall’s elected leadership remained fragmented because the mayor and the council did not work well together. Issues like schooling, housing, and even the nomination of John Redden, a White man, for police director divided Gibson and the council as well as most Black public ofﬁcials and activists.