Hobbstown: The Forgotten Legacy of a Unique African-American Community
by Cindy Williams Newsome
When white realtors found they could not sell an area of land in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, to whites—even as summer property—they became desperate. Enter Amos Hobbs, 1921, and his brothers, General and Robert, who had left the South a few years earlier seeking economic betterment for their families in the North. The frantic realtors and individual owners sold the land in small lots to the hungry-to-own-their-own-home black Southern newcomers. Thus began the migration of blacks on the periphery of wealthy, white Bridgewater Township. Although they are largely locked out of the essential utilities taken for granted by their white neighbors, the settlers embrace the land and develop it without complaint. Years later, with a population of roughly 22 families and an average of nine children apiece, via “eminent domain,” at least a portion of Hobbstown is set to be eliminated with the expansion of Interstate 287. This book has all of the ingredients of a bestseller; it is a creative, nonfiction work that reads like a novel.
"Although Hobbstown is a story of human desperation it does not submerge the reader into endless pages of bitterness. Hobbstown tweaks the conscience and the heart by presenting human triumph over prejudice and inequity. Its lesson must not be forgotten, lest history repeat itself."
David S. Rosenberg, author of Infusion of Evil
Hobbstown is the historical account of one family's desire to escape the economic and racial hardships of society. Newsome intimately weaves together the words of this literature to show compassion, struggle, and humor of the family's determination to explore a new city with the hopes of breaking ground to a better life. Newsome superbly tells this story to hold the eye. - T.M. Jones, Louisiana
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