NEWARK, NJ — Monday marks the 54th anniversary of race riots in Newark and now the city wants to put a spotlight on that dark time to celebrate the progress it has made since then.
On July 12, 1967, Newark resident John smith was pulled over by police, dragged out of the cab that he drove and brutally beaten by police. The incident ignited what many considered to be a rebellion by the people of Newark against rampant inequality and police brutality, sparking several nights of violence and damage throughout the city.
With the transformation of Newark’s First Precinct into the Newark Community Museum, the city will chronicle the lives of prominent residents, local activism over the years and the positive changes that have occurred within the police department.
Mayor Ras Baraka unveiled plans for the space which will include a courtyard with a grove of 26 trees symbolizing the lives lost during 1967 uprising.
“Our community didn’t just turn out this way by accident,” he said. “It was a series of events, historical, educational events, that out young people in our families should know about.
The museum will also house the headquarters for the new Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.
The museum is set to open in the fall of 2022