TRS Documentary: New Jersey

new jersey ghetto

The New Jersey Ghetto

This short documentary video breakdown of the New Jersey ghetto that includes the true story of the black and Latino urban communities of the past and the present.

One of the most density populated states in the country, New Jersey for years have been known for beaches along Jersey Shore, Atlantic City, colleges and universities, and the close connection to New York and Philadelphia.

Another side to New Jersey is the urban communities of the Garden State, where blacks and Latino’s reside.

Many people moved to New Jersey during the days of both of the World Wars, as job opportunities and the idea of a better life led to many to begin to relocate into the different communities of New Jersey.

Southern African-American families, who began to relocate into New Jersey cities during the early 1900s, lived in places like Newark’s Central Ward, Spring Street of Trenton, Bergen Lafayette of Jersey City, Atlantic City’s North Side, or Centerville in Camden.


Not until the race riots of the late 1960s, integration and white flight of some of New Jersey’s oldest neighborhoods, and the slow decline of businesses in the inner city, did the black community began to spread into other places of New Jersey.

The race riots of North New Jersey started in Newark and expanded into other neighborhoods after the community was tired of the mistreatment by the police and the need for equality.

After the arrival of African-Americans, the 1950s was the beginning of the Latino community becoming established, even though in some places Latino’s have been around since the early 1900s.

By the 1970s, the New Jersey Latino population, which is located in multiple communities of North Jersey like Elizabeth or Bergenline Avenue, and in Camden and Trenton, grew into becoming the second largest ethnic group of New Jersey, home to the likes of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Mexicans.

Today, gentrification of projects and neighborhoods, white and black flight is leading to the black community to further expand into New Jersey suburban neighborhoods.

Check out more on the communities of New Jersey.