top of page

JUSTIN / 646 Clifton Ave


I mostly grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. A happy childhood memory includes going to the now-demolished Bannister Mall (Kansas City) with my Mother and Brother.  I still have really fond memories of the food court, music stores, department stores, and the trading card shop. A happy place now is being back in my hometown with a plate of BBQ and a Boulevard beer!

I keep a fairly extensive book and vinyl record collection. I like to enjoy older mediums over newer digital ones. Miles Davies Blue’ has always been an important album for me. My favorite colors are black and grey, I always gravitate towards these for clothing because they feel classic and timeless. My house has light green with a black base and I associate the color green with my immediate environment because of Branch Brook Park, where we walk out dog ‘Barley’. Living in the North Ward has really made me appreciate Cherry Blossom Trees. In the Midwest we had endless fields of sunflowers which I associate with my childhood. My favorite food is still a Kansas style BBQ. My family is mainly African American from the Midwest/Great Plains. My wife is also a Midwesterner.  Even though our child was born in NJ, we want him to have a connection to the Midwest. But Newark is home – I’ve lived here for a decade, got married, and started a family here. My wife and I got married at Index Art Center. Having it be closed for redevelopment took away our ability to occasionally re-connect with a special place in our lives. Christmas is an important family event, wherever we might live.


What is striking about our family history is that every generation of my family generally gets more educational/economic opportunities than the last one.  Our black heritage is important to us and we have Black affirming children's books, toys, and clothing for our son.

Newark is a major site of African American culture and innovation, but it's not presented that way.  It's mostly presented as a set of social problems. This is mostly an excuse for people to continue ignoring or exploiting it.

bottom of page