We all know what Newark looked like after
the riots, so there is no need to waste space on that. In my first
posting I indicated that "the entire fabric of what made this
city so wonderful lay in ruins." I feel compelled to go further
The aftermath of the riots resulted in a devastating blow to racial
relations in the city. Or may I say it produced a lack of racial
relations. Some of the Whites that stayed purchased arms. The North
Ward Citizens Committee ("NWCC") headed by Tony Imperiale
became a fortress of protection for North Ward residents. Racially
motivated fighting erupted all over the place.
I attended Barringer High from 1966-1969. Demographically, Barringer's
racial mix roughly mirrored that of the City (50%/50%). Well, for
those that can remember, the two school years following the riots
transformed Barringer from a peaceful school to a war zone. There
weren't only isolated fights, there were FIGHTS. And, in many cases
the fighting was instigated by the White students. Yes, the riots
produced a militancy amongst the White population that was nurtured
by the NWCC. The fighting was so bad at times that the school was
closed down on several occasions.
The feeling in the North Ward was a feeling of being at war. It
wasn't a nice time, believe me. White students coming or exiting
the south entrance (aka the Black's entrance) of the school (by
Sixth Ave) were being intimidated by the Black students, while Black
students coming or exiting on the north entrance (aka the White's
entrance) were intimidated by White students. This, a school that
before July 1967 was largely peaceful!
I give you Barringer as an example of what in a small nutshell
happened to Newark. The reason for White Flight is so totally obvious.
It was due to fear. Subconscious prejudices in both Whites and Blacks
came to the surface. As a White individual, my feelings as well
as the feelings of many others I knew was "we've got to get
out of here." Newark became an unlivable horror. The wounds
did not heal the day the riots ended. The riots created a terminal
social malignancy in Newark.