Insider NJ Names More South Jerseyans to African American Power List: Still Missing Key Leaders



By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

ATLANTIC CITYInsider NJ published its 2022 African American Power List in honor of Black History Month this week with many usual faces with some new ones, but some of the same concerns previously posted by Front Runner New

Front Runner New Jersey salutes everyone who made the list. Congratulations! The recognition is well deserved. We know that you will continue to do great things and the community and state have already benefited mightily from your service.

First of all, let me say that I perfectly understand not everyone who should be on the list cannot be on the list. It’s the exclusivity of it that makes it special, draws attention to it and drives up the interest and allows people to debate who is on it, which drives up interest.

I am sure the creator of the list knows that they cannot put everyone on there that should be on there.

With that being said, because I understand the dynamics don’t mean it cannot be held up to scrutiny and examination. Front Runner New Jersey for the past several years has complained that there are not enough South Jersey residents who are part of the list. We’ve even argued that the list was illegitimate without certain people.

The good news is, more South Jerseyans, 21, made the Top 100 this year than in 2021 (17). Gloucester County Sheriff Jonathan Sammons (No. 56), Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen (No. 45) Atlantic City NAACP resident and city councilman Kaleem Shabazz (No. 49) New Jersey Young Democrats President Fatima Heyward (No. 81) were some of the few SJ newcomers who made the list.

I have complained in the past (and will renew this time as well) that no New Jersey African American Power List is complete without influential Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters and Ralph Hunter Sr., the founder of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey.

While Winters and Hunter were not listed in the top 100 (continued shame), they were mentioned as an honorable mention for the first time in the three years FRNJ has been examining the list. That is progress and maybe next year Winters and Hunter will get the seeding they deserve on the list.

While the South Jersey honorable mentions increased to 13 from six in 2022, there are still some glaring omissions. Crystal Charley Sibley, second vice president with the New Jersey State NAACP Conference, made the honorable mention list for the first time. That is outstanding but her husband, Marcus Sibley, president of the Southern Burlington County NAACP and one of, if not the leading, African American environmental activists in the state, should have been mentioned as well.

The list continues to limit young African Americans who are making outstanding contributions. Some of those include Sen. Cory Booker staffer Quinton Law, who currently sits on the Moorestown Town Council, Digna Townsend, co-founder of the South Jersey Young Democratic Black Caucus, and Aquasia Davis, of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office who sits on the Stockton University Foundation board, among others.

I could go on but don’t want to belabor the point again. That is just scratching the service.

For now, Front Runner New would like to honor and celebrate the South Jersey residents who did make the Insider NJ Power List this year. They are all well-deserving and worthy of praise. We will keep pointing out those who deserve similar praise as well.

South Jerseyans on Insider NJ’s African American Power List:

10. Troy Singleton, State Senator

16. Herb Conaway, State Assemblyman

22. Marty Small, Mayor of Atlantic City

36. Richard T. Smith, President of New Jersey State NAACP Conference

37. Antwan McClellan, State Assemblyman

38. Jonathan Sammons, Sheriff Gloucester County

43. Judge John Wallace, former NJ Supreme Court Justice

45. Vic Carstarphen, Mayor of Camden

46. Curtis Jenkins, Camden city councilman and union leader

49. Kaleem Shabazz, city council of Atlantic City, AC NAACP president

50. Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, Camden County Sheriff

55. William Spearman, State Assemblyman

56. Jonathan Young, Camden County Commissioner

58. Stephenine Dixon, Political Organizer

64. Albert Kelly, Mayor of Bridgeton, founder Gateway CAP

68. Elton Custis, Camden County School Advisory Board

76, Ernest Coursey, Atlantic County Commissioner

81. Fatima Heyward, President of New Jersey Young Democrats

88. Donna Pearson, Cumberland County Commissioner

94. Felicia Hopson, Burlington County Commissioner

99. Frank Minor, Mayor of Logan Township

Honorable Mention

Ralph Hunter, founder of African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey

Loretta Winters, President of Gloucester County NAACP

Crystal Charley-Sibley, Second Vice President New Jersey NAACP State Conference

Yolanda Melville, Atlantic County NAACP

LaDaena Thomas, Mayor of Penns Grove

Craig Callaway, Political Operative in Atlantic County

Jamila Odom Bremmer, Mayor of Chesilhurst

Alexander Bland, President of Cape May-Cumberland Young Democrats

Tanzie Youngblood, educator and former SJ Congressional candidate

Will Cunningham, Congressional staffer and former SJ Congressional candidate

John Francis, West Cape May councilman

Adam Taliaferro, former SJ State Assemblyman

Durwood Pinkett, Atlantic City Political organizer

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