Fred Means Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of political, academic, and professional materials documenting Means’ career and activism. Note that a number of items in the collection are tagged to indicate that they have been scanned for possible use on the “Rise Up Newark” web site
- 1965 - 2018
Conditions Governing Use
Researchers wishing to publish reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Fred E. Means was born in South Carolina and grew up in Newark. He graduated
from Miller Street School and South Side High School (now Malcolm X Shabazz HS). After
serving n the U.S. Army he a BS degree from New York University, an MA from Trenton
State College, and a Masters and PhD in Education from Rutgers University. He served
for five years at Rutgers Graduate School of Education as a lecturer, supervisor, and
Director of the Rutgers Urban Teacher Education Program (known as “Project WE”). He
then spent nineteen years at Jersey City State College (later New Jersey City University)
as a professor and Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Education. He retired
From the 1960s on Means was an active participant in Newark civic and political life. He served as president of the Newark-Essex Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality from May 1965, and in the summer of 1965 joined with national CORE leader James Farmer to lead a Newark march protesting police brutality. Means also served on the Business and Industrial Coordinating Council (BICC) and the United Community Corporation (UCC), and was Head Teacher of the Head Start Program at Cleveland School (1968- 1970). In 1967 he joined with a group of Newark educators to form the Organization of Negro Educators (ONE); he served as president of ONE from its founding to 1970. ONE protested hiring and pay inequities in the Newark school system and was strongly critical of the Newark Teachers Union during and after the Newark Teachers’ Strike (1970-1971). In 1972 Mayor Kenneth Gibson appointed Means to a three-year term on the Newark Board of Education, a period he has described as “one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. On the Board he often found himself part of a dissident minority group, with Board members Helen Fullilove, Vickie Donaldson, and George Branch.
Fred Means married Helen P. Means, a teacher, who attended Newark State College. He has described himself as “a God-fearing Christian” and has served as a Trustee of Newark’s Mount Zion Baptist Church on Broadway. Fifty years after the height of the civil rights movement he joined with Newark civil rights activist and historian Robert Curvin to advocate for the placing of a plaque at the church, which had provided space for CORE meetings and other civil rights events in the 1960s.
.63 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger box, 1 half Hollinger box)
Language of Materials
This collection consists of papers documenting Fred Means career and activism.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Fred Means, 2018
- Gail Malmgreen
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States