By LaMonica McIver President, Newark Municipal Council
On a warm, autumn evening, downtown Newark’s arts and entertainment nightlife was bustling. Walking down Halsey Street, crossing over to Washington to enter the Newark Museum, young girls and boys skipped down the street, their parents strolling behind them. Across the street singing, laughter, and groovy beats emanated from Harriet Tubman Square. Further down at The Yard, a line formed waiting for a juicy meal, a hamburger perhaps. This culture, life, love, and community seemed to be extra dramatic because of the Newark Arts Festival, but the beauty that comes out of this city is an everyday occurrence.
After this weekend of excitement, The Positive Community steps into this world to document, remember, and rejoice with us through their work. This publication has become a focal part of Newark’s local media, making it a central news resource for Newark residents and even those beyond Brick City in the New York metropolitan area. In an urban space like Newark, this publication means so much because we are often only seen in local and national media when stories are about violence, crime, or abuse.
The Positive Community challenges the dominant media’s narratives about the Black church and community. Its efforts to tell the stories and show the love we share in Newark beyond contrasts the negative stories common to other media outlets. This publication is unique in that it focuses on supporting local businesses, concerned individuals, corporations, churches, and many other institutions to bring the positive vision of this community to life.
In addition, the magazine highlights the stories of everyday citizens, documenting their challenges and successes as leaders in this community, showing that to be successful, one does not have to fall into mainstream journalists’ perceptions of us. Through print, online, and Positive Community Radio, this media company is a comprehensive source, documenting and telling narratives while highlighting culture, education, health, financial, opinion, and other topics, providing resources for those in need.
One of the publication’s highlights that I, as well as the community, am deeply grateful for are the resources and commitment to the advancement of Newark, New Jersey. They inform the public about health-related events and resources such as Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s Wellness Fair. These events provide free blood pressure screenings, diabetes screenings, etc. Having this knowledge accessible to our community is what gives us life. But beyond the attention to health and wellness, there are also efforts to ensure our joy is sustained. Arts and entertainment are not only an economical avenue for the city, but they serve to keep our city in community with one another.
So, as we express gratitude for this Newark issue and all the work The Positive Community has done, let us continue to enjoy everything the wonderful Brick City offers us.