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BLACK HISTORY MONTH: We Salute Newark's Mr. Gus Heningburg

By rlsmetro on

[]( said Mr. Gus Heningburg was born May 18, 1930, at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and his family moved to New York City during his senior year of high school. He graduated from Jamaica High School in 1946.

Heningburg served three years in Europe before spending his final three years of service in New Jersey with the Counter Intelligence Corps, according to

He became the first president of the Greater Newark Urban Coalition, where he served in that capacity and as CEO for 12 years. During his tenure with the Coalition, Heningburg brought together corporate presidents, community organizers, and political figures to “revitalize” the city after the 1967 Newark rebellion.

Heningburg sought to use his position of influence in the Coalition to benefit the city’s Black and Puerto Rican populations, according to said when the Black Organization of Students (BOS) “liberated” Conklin Hall at Rutgers-Newark in 1969, Heningburg helped to shape a minority recruitment plan that became known as the Equal Opportunity Fund. Heningburg’s negotiating skills were also highlighted through his roles in resolving the Newark Teacher’s Strike in 1970-1971 and the Stella Wright Tenants Strike in 1973.

Heningburg’s role in mediating the Stella Wright Tenants Strike, which was the nation’s longest public housing rent strike, led a federal court judge to remark that “his credibility and his quiet, effective leadership brought order out of chaos, and produced solutions where many thought none existed.”

Heningburg died on October 15, 2012, at the age of 82, of heart failure.

INFORMATION & IMAGE CREDIT:](,  Robert Curvin, Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation

SPONSORS: Metro Media Institute, Nino's Pizza, Bergen Street Harrison NJ, and William Paterson University