In the volatile days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., violence erupted across the United States. In Trenton, downtown businesses were looted, scores of people were arrested or beaten, and dozens of buildings burned. The so-called “riots” became—and remain—a simple explanation for the downward spiral into urban blight from which Trenton has never recovered. But the public record has never fully explained the events of April 1968. Historian Alison Isenberg and filmmaker Purcell Carson are collaborating--along with our students and the community--to explore the era, that particular night, and what both mean for Trenton today.
This project, like all of the work of The Trenton Project, cannot exist without the generosity and stories of Trentonians. Starting in the late Spring of 2016 and continuing through 2017, our group will be sifting through archival records and conducting interviews to help paint a picture of the city in the 1960s. We are eager to hear your stories and experiences—or those of your parents and grandparents. We warmly invite you to contact Purcell Carson if you have stories to share, ideas for our work, or to be put on our mailing list for future screenings.