Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Flip Side of the Summer of Love

I just saw a powerful P.O.V. documentary, Revolution '67, on the July 12-17, 1967 riots and police action in Newark, New Jersey. The events of 40 years past in New Jersey's largest city form a violent flip side to the "Summer of Love" and their consequences still loom large today.

As its name suggests, P.O.V. is not without a point of view and the documentary will not sit well with everyone. However that may be, every NJ resident should know this story. But... NJN is not airing the documentary. At least you can view the trailer via YouTube.



Or view here.

If you remember the Newark riots and police action or have a response to the documentary, please feel free to comment. If you grew up in NJ, how did you learn about what happened in and to Newark?


ETA: This week in Newark there will be numerous memorial events, including free screenings of Revolution '67. Mayor Cory Booker has declared that flags will fly at half-staff and will dedicate a plaque in memory of the 26 people killed. The Newark Public Library and the New Jersey Historical Society will have educational exhibits. For some of the sponsoring organizations, this is the first time they have acknowledged the turmoil of 40 years ago.

9 comments:

Deborah said...

Yes, a very important story from a time when we had state sponsored terror in this country. Many scholars came out of that struggle too. Men and women who were determined to understand the social and human diseases that cultivate general apathy - the "good german" syndrome - when people not affected by a specific social travesty, ignore its tragic effects on others.

--Deb said...

Since that happened when I was less than a year old, I wasn't exactly paying attention to current events, and never really heard much about them, either. There was, however, an article in the Star-Ledger this morning:
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1184129199115500.xml&coll=1

--Deb said...

Oh, and apparently it's airing on Channel 13 on Monday, although not exactly conveniently timed!

"P.O.V.: Revolution `67
Monday, July 16, 1:30am
"Revolution '67" chronicles a six-day race riot in Newark."

Bezzie said...

This occurred a little over ten years before I was born. Can I tell you however how appalled I was that it took me *MOVING* to New Jersey to learn about this event??? Never a peep in high school or even college history. Yet the first thing out of my father's mouth though when I told him we were moving to NJ was maybe we should stay away from Newark because he remembers hearing about those riots when he was in HS as an American AF brat overseas.
I wasn't able to catch the documentary (10:00 p.m. is a little late for me and no Tivo) but I did catch an interview with the makers and one of the people they interviewed heavily in the documentary. Fascinating stuff. But it made me even more appalled I had never heard of this incident before moving to NJ.
There will be a fictionalized version of the documentary coming out shortly with Spike Lee being involved.

Kim said...

I admit to knowing nearly nothing about the Newark riots although I grew in Jersey. Why the hell is Channel 13 showing this at 1:30 am and at no other time and NJN not showing it at all. Thanks for alerting me to this important (and ashamedly overlooked) piece of NJ's history.

Ina said...

Thanks to all for commenting!

Deborah: It seems to me a combination of ignorance, fear, and self-interest suffices to quell most of the protest, most of the time.

Deb: Thanks for the links. I've added others to the post as well.

Bezzie: I believe the upcoming Spike Lee movie is about the 1992 L.A. riots sparked by the brutal police beating of Rodney King. His acclaimed 1989 movie, "Do the Right Thing," was set in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Kim: Channel 13 initially broadcast POV on July 10 at 10 p.m.

CrazyFiberLady said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I never knew about this and I'm a born and raised Jersey Girl. I'm going to set the DVR to record it.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm Deb's mom and I was born and raised in Newark. My dad retired from the police force 6 months before the riots. I wasn't living in Newark in 1967 but my parents still were. My mother worked at a bank in downtown Newark and didn't go to work for several days after a terrifying bus ride down Springfield Ave.
There was a program on NJN Thursday from 8-10pm about the riots.
Deb's mom

Ina said...

Deb's mom: Thank you for your comments. For those who don't know Newark, some of the worst violence centered on Springfield Avenue.