The legacy continues with Ras Baraka, the Mayor of Newark NJ. Baraka was born on April 9, 1969 in Newark, New Jersey to writer and playwright Amiri Baraka and poet Amina Baraka. He received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 1991; and earned his M.A. degree in education supervision from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City in 1994. Prior to his political career, Baraka worked as an English and history teacher for Newark Public Schools. In 1994, at the age of twenty-four, Baraka ran for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, but was defeated by Sharpe James. Baraka was elected as Council Member At-Large on the Municipal Council of Newark in 2005. From 2007 to 2013, Baraka served as the principal of Central High School in Newark. He was re-elected as a South Ward Council Member in 2010, a position he held until 2014. In July of 2014, Baraka became Newark’s 40th mayor, on a platform of improving the city’s public school system, economic growth, and criminal justice reform. Baraka was recently re-elected to a second term as Mayor of Newark NJ.

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