Posted on July 13, 2021 at: 1:59 pm
by Collin Willard
Ray Callahan Experiential Learning Fund Fellow, Spring 2021
Anyone who has ever set foot in Newark, Delaware could tell you that it is a college town. Positioned in the center of town, the University of Delaware’s vast campus dominates Newark’s built environment. Businesses along Newark’s Main Street cater to student tastes, and students make up a sizable portion of Newark’s population. Large real estate management companies offer a variety of off-campus housing options in just about every part of Newark, from apartment complexes to single family homes, and nearly everything in between.
However, Newark was not always like this. Prior to the 1970’s, University of Delaware students primarily either lived on campus or commuted to class. Newark had several distinctive neighborhoods within its core that housed working-class families. One such neighborhood was home to the New London Road community, where Newark’s Black population lived throughout the 20th century. This neighborhood, shown in the figure below, encompassed most of the northwest portion of Newark’s core, including New London Road and Avenue, West Cleveland Avenue, Ray Street, Church Street, Corbit Street, Rose Street, and Terry Manor. Today, however, this area of Newark is largely student housing and university property.