Sharpe James

Bud Lee Archives / Sergio Waksman Design

Media coverage of the 1967 Newark Rebellion depicted chaos in New Jersey’s largest city, but many people who were there say some major inaccuracies were reported as fact.

“Sniper Fire from open windows kills two policemen a fire captain shot in the back while answering a false alarm and several bystanders. Officials say the snipers, some not believed to be Newark residents use guns stolen from a local rifle factory.  Even machine guns were used,” said one movie house newsreel following the Newark riots.

Newark Evening News

The fight over the city of Newark’s secretary to the Board of Education appointee in 1967, stemmed from the Mayor promising somebody the job, while the majority African American community called for somebody else.  Don Melafronte was Mayor Hugh Addonizio’s chief of staff.

“The job at the board of ed, the secretary to the board of education was essentially a political job.  He was essentially the administrator of the budget and some other stuff at the board of ed.  It had zero to do with curriculum.”

Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Cory Booker will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors". He will be joined by fellow former mayors Ken Gibson, Sharpe James and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

NJ Advance Media

Programming Note: Sharpe James will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors".  He will be joined by fellow former mayors Ken Gibson, US Senator Cory Booker and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

Mayor Sharpe James served as Newark’s south ward councilman before defeating Ken Gibson in a close 1986 election.  It would end up being his closest election as city mayor.  He was such a presence he ran unopposed in 1990.  James went on to serve five terms, eventually becoming a state senator.  

NJ Advance Media / Courtesy of Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Ken Gibson will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors".  He will be joined by fellow former mayors Sharpe James, US Senator Cory Booker and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

Ken Gibson was elected as Newark’s first African American mayor in 1970.  A transitional period for Newark; the city was in recovery from the 67’ rebellion.