Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

African American Studies

Committee Member

Peter Blackmer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Imelda Hunt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthew Cook, Ph.D.


This thesis explores the theories and praxis of struggles for community-control of public housing in the era of Black Power through a case study of the Stella Wright Rent Strike. From 1970 to 1974, tenants of the Stella Windsor Wright Homes in Newark, NJ, waged the longest rent strike in the history of public housing in the United States. Following in the wake of the 1967 Rebellion and the election of Kenneth A. Gibson as the city’s first Black mayor in 1970, Newark’s poor and working-class Black tenants blended grassroots militancy with political savvy as they successfully fought for community control of public housing from the high-rises to city hall to Washington, D.C. Building upon social networks and indigenous leadership within the project, tenant organizers translated effective organizing into a successful model of tenant management.

Included in

Public Policy Commons