Next City Highlights Demelza Baer's Report, "Bridging the Two Americas"

Next City reports:

Today, overall reported crime is down to its lowest level in 50 years, according to data provided by City Hall, but crime and poverty still remain a challenge. According to a policy report published this year by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, almost 70 percent of Newark residents earn less than $40,000 a year and 33 percent of the city’s black population lives in poverty.

But even through the lean years, the arts in Newark never died. Perhaps most significantly, the Newark of the late ’60s and ’70s gave rise to the Black Arts movement with the poet Amiri Baraka (his son Ras is now mayor) as its leader. The movement celebrated black culture and identity, and many of today’s Newark artists say Amiri Baraka’s devotion to art and to his community has been a source of inspiration...

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