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Copyofdannypaper - Daniel Araque Prof Castronova HUM 100...

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Daniel Araque Prof. Castronova HUM 100 March 11, 2008 Newark Under Seige: July 1967 In July of 1967, the people of Newark, New Jersey made history when they rebelled, and the notorious race riots began. Around the time of the race riots in Newark, other similar rebellions were occurring throughout more than 100 American cities. The race riots, as they were called, caused a significant amount of deaths and injuries to the citizens of Newark. The riots left an enormous impact on the city of Newark and were believed to be a main cause of the city’s decline. However, Newark has come a long way to improve the city and prevent history from repeating itself. The riots, which lasted from July 12 th until the 17 th of 1967, began as a result of growing tensions within the city regarding race, poverty, and politics. The riots commenced with a gathering near the Fourth Precinct station, in Newark, after news spread of an attack by police on a black cab driver, (A Walk Through Newark) The cab driver, John W. Smith, was pulled over for tailgating and had been brutality attacked by two white police officers who nearly beat him to death. Coincidentally, a woman from the Human Rights Committee was among the crowd who had gathered near the Fourth Precinct. This woman, Edna Thomas, demanded that Smith be taken to a hospital to be observed. Following Smith’s beating, a large crowd of black Newark citizens gathered outside the precinct. They threw rocks and bottles then, after the majority of the crowd had dispersed, began smashing store windows. (A Walk Through Newark) Within the next twenty-four hours, Newark’s mayor at the time, Hugh
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Araque 2 Addonizio, called for the support of the National Guard. The national guardsmen opened fire on the rioters in Newark, causing numerous deaths. (A Walk Through Newark) The cab incident involving John W. Smith and the two police officers is only a part of the violence that occurred within the five days of the riots and does not begin to reveal the entire history leading up to the riots. The riots were a result of increased tensions within the city. There were economic, racial, and political tensions which existed city-wide. According to historian, Barry Lewis, “The main causes of the tension in Newark included: the excessive unemployment rate, lack of political power, and inferior schools. Though all those factors played a role leading up to the race riots, there were two reasons that were the driving forces behind the riots.” (A Walk Through Newark) The first reason was the mayor’s decision for the secretary of the school board and the other
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Copyofdannypaper - Daniel Araque Prof Castronova HUM 100...

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