The Price of Liberty Film Series Kicks off With a Screening of Revolution ’67

Revolution '67 from Jerome Bongiorno on Vimeo.

On July 12, 1967, the arrest of an African-American cab driver named John Smith sparked explosive riots in Newark. What began as a peaceful protest quickly escalated with shouts of “police brutality,” Molatov cocktails, and looting. Revolution ’67 chronicles the events that took place in Newark in the Summer of 1967 and the Montclair Historical Society with the Montclair Public Library will host a screening of the film this Wednesday, February 25.

The screening of Revolution ’67 is part of The Price of Liberty free film series. Like last year’s film series, Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, this year’s series explores issues related to civil rights, segregation, and equality. This year, they are going local, with films specifically about people’s experiences in northern New Jersey, Essex County, and even Montclair.

Each program, which will be held at the Montclair Public Library (50 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair) and will be hosted by a humanities scholar and includes film clips and discussion on the film’s topic.

The film series kicks off with Revolution ’67 on Wednesday, February 25 at 7 pm at MPL. Other films in the series are:

A Place to Become: Montclair Through the Eyes of the Glenridge Avenue YWCA Women (1920-1965)
Host: Lillie Edwards, PhD
Wednesday, March 25. 7 – 9 pm
Montclair Public Library
Admission is Free

Produced by the Montclair Historical Society, A Place to Become explores early 20th century Montclair through the eyes of eight women who attended the YWCA. They tell the stories of African American women and girls – and the role of the YWCA – in a town grappling with de facto segregation, integration, and the Civil Rights Movement.

A Place out of Time
Host: Lillie Edwards, PhD
Wednesday, April 29. 7 – 9 pm
Montclair Public Library
Admission is Free

For 70 years, the Bordentown School was an educational utopia that many African-American people from our area attended. An incubator for black pride and intellect, it taught values, discipline, and life skills to generations of black children. This is the story of that remarkable school, as told by Bordentown alumni, historians, and remarkable archival footage. It is also the story of black education in America across three centuries, presenting a nuanced, rarely seen portrait of a separate black space.

The Rule
Host: Leslie Wilson, PhD
Wednesday, May 27. 7 – 9 pm
Montclair Public Library
Admission is Free

This film brings the film series discussion to the present day. Newark Abbey, a monastery in Newark, teaches students of St. Benedicts’s Prep based on “The Rule” that is 1,500 years old and has guided Benedictine monks throughout history. The Benedictine monks instill a sense of community in the most vulnerable student body — inner-city African American and Latino teenage males – who then go on to achieve amazing educational success.



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  1. The film looks very good. The Newark riots aren’t as well knows even though they are an important piece of civil rights and race history. It is saddening that fifty years later we are still watching images like this coming through on the nightly news in places like Ferguson and New York. I was a little put off by the music in the preview. The piano jazz’s frenetic pace didn’t match the thoughtfulness of the interviews. I’m still looking forward to it though!

  2. A time I can’t forget….I was working at the A&P on So. Orange ave. close to downtown. I was on loan from the Belleville A&P for the summer because Newark was short of deli men.
    I just graduated from Essex Catholic Prep and was bussing back & forth every day.
    Then the hammer came down and reality set in. Somehow I made it home that night and never went back. Always wondered what happened to my co-workers both black & white but I know what happened to Newark, it’s still a mere wisp of what it had been.
    In my mind I still see Hugh Addonizio riding on that tank.
    Politicians and tanks just don’t mix.

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