The Abyssnian Baptist Church hosted a commemoration of the 1967 Newark Rebellion on Tuesday night. The prayer service offered interfaith clergy the opportunity to come together.
The event featured Junius Williams, director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, and Mayor of Newark Ras J. Baraka. Both Williams and Baraka spoke about the need for an accurate depiction of Newark prior to and during 1967. To Baraka, Newark would not be the city it is today without the unrest 50 years ago.
For many, the details of the Rebellion still have relevance today. Pastoral Assistant and community member Dr. Antoinette Ellis Williams remarked on the poignancy of the past:
"Power: who has it? Who doesn't have it? When you have it, what do you do with it? History repeats itself. You need to know this. I need to know this, because you when you watch this, you watch it as if it is happening today."
The commemoration reminded community members, clergy, and politicians alike of the long lasting impact of the five-day uprising.