NPL Spotlight

To mark the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) and emphasize the significant work of history organizations and programs across the state, we asked our FY2017 and FY2018 grant recipients to submit a short narrative and photos describing the impact of NJHC funding. Each week until the end of our fiscal year in June, we will post a spotlight featuring the responses of our grant recipients. Whether NJHC support contributed to general operating, a brand new exhibit, an engaging education program or the restoration of a historic object, it’s truly amazing to see what New Jersey history organizations, libraries, and individuals have to offer.

This week we spotlight the Newark Public Library!

Funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission supported the Newark Public Library’s all-day symposium, Voices from the Rebellion: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Newark Rebellion. On July 15, 2017, more than 200 enthusiastic, engaged participants packed the Main Library’s Centennial Hall to mark the anniversary of the Newark Rebellion, a seminal event in the history of Newark which took place over five days in July 1967, as African Americans in the city protested after decades of oppression and exclusion from power.

The symposium was cosponsored by the Newark History Society and Rise Up North, an online archive of material related to the struggle of African Americans for political power in northern urban centers. Included in the symposium were two panels, one moderated by educator and historian Linda Caldwell Epps, the other by activist Junius Williams. Spoken word artist Mia X entertained the audience between the two panels.

The flyer for the program can be found HERE.

Photo 1

Broadcast journalist Sandra King, a member of the Newark Public Library Board of Trustees, and artist Amina Baraka, widow of poet Amiri Baraka and mother of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. King and Baraka served on the panel headed by Junius Williams.

Photo 2

Junius Williams with NPL librarian Thomas Ankner, who helped organize the event. Ankner and scholar Peter Blackmer curated an accompanying exhibit, Voices from the Rebellion, which was installed in the first floor gallery during the summer of 2017.


Voices from the Rebellion Logo

Voices from the Rebellion Logo







For questions about NJHC Grantee Spotlights, please contact Greer Luce, Communications Officer, at 609-633-0776 or


About the New Jersey Historical Commission

The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.