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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Trenton in Mercer County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Righting Civil Wrongs and Ensuring Civil Rights

 
 
Righting Civil Wrongs and Ensuring Civil Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, December 2007
1. Righting Civil Wrongs and Ensuring Civil Rights Marker
Inscription.  Civil rights, the rights to freedom from discrimination that every citizen and inhabitant enjoys by law, have evolved gradually over the years in the United States. For African-Americans, civil rights have been hard-won and are still an issue. Trenton’s African-American community like those in many other American cities, has experienced its own share of tribulation in attaining proper acceptance within mainstream society and has also contributed significantly to the broader civil rights movement.

In the 1940s, segregation and racist attitudes were still strongly pervasive in Trenton – in the neighborhoods, in the schools and in the workplace. One landmark legal challenge took place in the city during this period when Gladys Hedgepeth and Berline Williams filed suit in 1944 against the Trenton Board of Education in the New Jersey Supreme Court, objecting to their children having to walk two miles from their homes to the all-Black Lincoln School, when other public schools were closer at hand. This case helped set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearing of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ten years later and the decision
The four subject markers under the 20th Century Arch image. Click for full size.
By Gary Nigh, December 2007
2. The four subject markers under the 20th Century Arch
that barred segregation throughout the nation’s public schools.

In the 1960s, Trenton’s African-Americans and other civil right’s sympathizers stood solidly behind the cause for racial justice. A march by 4,000 protestors through the downtown to the War Memorial in 1963 culminated in a rally to raise awareness over discriminatory practices in the workplace and the need for minimum wage legislation. Other civil rights demonstrations were mounted in the city in the mid-1960s, and Trenton was one of many American communities to experience rioting following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. This represented the high point in racial tension in the city and since that time Trenton’s African-American community has built a strong political presence in local government as befits its growth in numbers.

Links to learn more – New Jersey State House, Trenton; Trenton Free Public Library, Trenton
 
Erected 2004 by New Jersey Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsEducation.
 
Location. 40° 11.936′ N, 74° 45.513′ W. Marker is in Trenton, New Jersey, in Mercer County. Marker can be reached from New Jersey Route 29.
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This marker is part of South River Walk Park which is built over Route 29. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton NJ 08611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Growth of Government (here, next to this marker); Heritage of Sport (here, next to this marker); “Trenton Ready for War …….” (here, next to this marker); 20th Century (and later) Trenton Timeline (a few steps from this marker); “The Whole Art, Secret and Mystery of Manufacturing Sturgeon” (within shouting distance of this marker); “… a Town laid out called Lamberton …” [1773] (within shouting distance of this marker); From Teacups to Toilets (within shouting distance of this marker); Cooper & Hewitt ….. Iron & Steel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
More about this marker. This is one of four subject markers under the 20th Century Arch.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 20, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on February 2, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Gary Nigh of Trenton, New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021