Much of the 1950s and ‘60s civil rights movement took place in the south; however, great strides were made all over the country, including right here in New Jersey. One former NJ resident was even close with the leader of the movement; Edith Savage-Jennings is a civil rights icon who had a close relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death, she shared personal stories of their relationship.

Previously — in January of 2015 — Steve Adubato, PhD., went one-on-one with Savage-Jennings; she worked tirelessly to bring about racial and gender equality , even marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On this episode of One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Savage-Jennings discusses her inspiring past; she also commented on where the civil rights movement stands in the 21st century.

Edith Savage-Jennings Shares Personal MLK Stories

April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the greatest, most influential person of the civil rights movement. Through his words, determination and acts of civil disobedience, King was able to transform society. In truth, he was a remarkable individual who had a plethora of remarkable people, like Savage-Jennings, behind him.

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This video was made possible thanks to The North Ward Center.

Edith Savage-Jennings moved to Trenton from Jacksonville, Florida, when she was just two years old. She grew up in the Garden State, where she was dedicated to helping others. In 1957, she helped King raise funds for his newly formed Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC, which still exists today, is an African-American civil rights organization.

Even outside of her association with King, Savage-Jennings had a number of accomplishments under her belt. As a matter of fact, in Trenton she is responsible for helping to integrate the Capitol Theater.

“On a Saturday [my friends and I] went, and we sat downstairs in the second row,” Savage-Jennings told Adubato. “And the usher came and said, ‘You’re in the wrong seats!…’ So I said, ‘No, we’re not moving.’”

As the theater staff pressed her and her friends to leave, the group stayed put throughout the entire movie. Moreover, Savage-Jennings and friends continued to go back and subsequently integrated the most popular theater in Central New Jersey.

Want to learn more about Savage-Jennings, her civil rights contributions and her friendship with Dr. King? Don’t miss this edition of One-on-One with Steve Adubato.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.



  • Hero (Top) Feature Image: © One on One with Steve Adubato / Caucus Educational Corporation
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