Today In Black History: The Historic Newark Rebellion Broke Out On July 12, 1967

by Duke Magazine

The racial hiccup between the police and residents in Newark, New Jersey, was already serious prior to its outrage on July 12, 1967, when 23 fatalities were recorded from the violent showdown that is today known as the Newark Rebellion. 

just as their presence are evident in major metropolitan cities, police officers were basically of Irish and Italian descent, and African-Americans were often than not victims of police brutality that was in rare cases prosecuted.  However, despite inadequate housing provisions, there were plans to build a superhighway through a Black community, which would take 150 acres to build a medical school and hospital complex, according to a Rutgers University report.

The city called it “urban renewal,” but to residents it was more like “Negro removal.” Five days of violence from July 12 to 16 were sparked by the arrest of John Smith, an African-American cab driver who suffered serious injuries after being arrested for tailgating and driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. 

Although the civil rights group, Congress of Racial Equality hoped to lead a “peaceful protest,” the frustration experienced by a group of young men erupted, and which inadvertently led to an uproar. According to a summary of events on, 26 people were killed, 750 injured and more than 1,000 persons jailed.

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