Eugene Robinson
Sunday
5
June

Visitation at Funeral Home

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Greenidge Funeral Homes, Inc.
301 Absecon Boulevard
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Monday
6
June

Visitation at Main Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Monday, June 6, 2022
Second Baptist Church
110 Dr. Isaac Cole Plaza
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Monday
6
June

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Monday, June 6, 2022
Second Baptist Church
110 Dr. Isaac Cole Plaza
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Tuesday
7
June

Final Resting Place

1:00 pm
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Brigadier General William C Doyle Veterans Cemetery
350 Provinceline Road
Wrightstown, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Eugene Henry Robinson

Eugene Henry Robinson was born on February 10,1942 to Marion Henry Robinson and Rosalie McIver in St. Petersburg, Florida. Eugene was called to his heavenly home on May 13, 2022. As a young person, Eugene integrated the Baltimore Little League and the Baltimore school system. He was selected to join a group of integrating youngsters because he had excellent grades and performed in theatre in middle school. Having a father who served as an accounting professor and Comptroller at Morgan State University, a great aunt, Marigold McIver, who graduated from Columbia Teacher's College and taught under Mary McLeod Bethune, and a mother who graduated from Bethune Cookman College and attended Temple University, Eugene was able to articulate what it meant to integrate a school system. "We were made to be ready. By our fore-parents. We were ready made." He later graduated from East Orange High School (NJ). Eugene enlisted in the United States Army in June of 1960 and reached the rank of Corporal and was discharged in 1963 after winning an award for good conduct. After finishing his time in the Reserves, Eugene and Jean Washington married in 1967 and had one child, Jacqueline Maxine Robinson. Eugene earned a Master's degree in History from Rutgers University in 1972, the first African-American male to do so, and completed most of the requirements for the Ph.D. —finishing the course requirements and therefore nearly all of a Ph.D. At Rutgers he taught some of the first courses in African American History at the university along with courses in Modern Society and Urban Education. During the 1967-68 school year, Eugene became the first African American fellow at the Rutgers Eagleton Institute. His peers often referred to him a "walking history book". He would continue to teach Black History, U.S. History, Modern World History and Crime and Law at Bloomfield College, Atlantic Cape Community College and Stockton University as well as serve as a history teacher at Pleasantville High School. (Scoring in the 99th percentile, Eugene passed a NJ State exam in the teaching of History that licensed him to teach in public schools). His role as an active participant in and leader of community organizations began at Rutgers. In May 1960, Eugene would be among eleven black and white students to form a student NAACP chapter, a "first" at a majority white campus in the Northeast. When the campus NAACP needed reinvigoration, Eugene helped to restart it again in 1968. As a leader of many groups, he led many discussions with administration for admittance of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Known as a frequent editorialist, Eugene wrote a series of Daily Targum articles in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was at Rutgers with insight from History courses with the likes of Professors Richard P. McCormick and Warren I. Susman that Eugene developed his own view on the current issues of social change. Based on the thought of Floyd McKissick, he called this theory "the Politics of Community Action." Awards included becoming the first black Rutgers "News Maker of the Year" ('67-'68) since the origins of the award in the 1930's. Known as a peacekeeper during turbulent times, he was willing to work with administrators and students alike for positive change. Further, he was selected chairman at the 1968 Mock Democratic Convention covered by ABC TV. Also, in 1968, Eugene was selected as a semi-finalist in the National Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Contest. In 1978, according to The Franklin News Record, Eugene finished fifth in a statewide Jaycees speech competition. At Rutgers upon being advised that because of his educational and social advocacy, he would not be able to be supported by the university to further fulfill the PhD requirements, Eugene finished with a Master's degree and focused even more on combining public service with teaching in a way that could be the most useful to society. Throughout the rest of his career, Eugene continued to assist the public through organizational leadership and participation. He served as the Coordinator of the Social Sciences Division at Rutgers University and Executive Director of Neighborhood House, Inc of New Brunswick and Plainfield--non-profit after-school programs that received two awards from the United Way under his leadership. Some of his other community activities included: the Somerset Community Action Program, Urban League of Greater New Brunswick, Somerset Child Development Program, and Statewide Minorities Executive Membership. Eugene relocated to Atlantic City in 1977 because of his familiarity with the city through regularly visiting his Aunt Cora "Cookie" Rivers who resided there for many years. (Her son Conrad Kent Rivers, the multi-publication poet Langston Hughes called one of the top five poets of the late twentieth century was born in Atlantic City in 1933). In Atlantic City, known as "Brother Gene", Eugene headed the Ethnic Betterment Council (1983-1984), the Jim's Men Club for Mayor James L. Usry (1985-1986), the Atlantic County Rainbow Coalition (1987-1989), which pushed for the CRDA (Casino Reinvestment Development Authority) and for new housing in the Northeast Inlet. And, as a member of 101 Women Plus (1998-2000), Gene was its only male president. He was a member or officer of five NAACP branches, including having served as a newsletter editor (1985-1986) and an executive board member of the Atlantic City Branch for 10 years (1985-1986). During the first half of his career, Gene accumulated twenty years of working with urban youth having run three North Jersey youth centers. In Atlantic City, he continued youth work, serving as Atlantic City NAACP Council Advisor for nine years and was a Boys & Girls Club Trustee for over five years in Atlantic City. He also worked with Rites of Passage and the Stanley Holmes Village Work Team. Ever extending his public service, Gene was a member of the Atlantic Human Resources Anti-Poverty Board and was selected by former Governor Richard Cody to be a member of the New Jersey State Martin Luther King Commemorative Commission in September 2005. He was appointed Area Coordinator for the Black Leadership Summit. His years of study and teaching history made Gene a highly regarded public lecturer in Black and U.S. History with a schedule of poetry and music-filled dramatic presentations of American and Black American Achievement given at churches and organizations – often filling his calendar particularly during Black History Month and July 4th. Gene was elected twice to the Atlantic City Board of Education (1989-1991,1995-1998) and played a key role in the development of the new $83 million Atlantic City High School, the biggest and best in America at that time. Eugene was elected as an at-large Councilman in Atlantic City in 2001. Eugene served the citizens of Atlantic City until 2009. During his time on City Council, he was an advocate for casino workers—particularly their health. His proudest legislative accomplishment was the unanimous passage of Resolution #735 on September 20, 2006 supporting proposed New Jersey Assembly Bill #2067 for Casino floor "Smoke Free" workplaces. It should be noted that Eugene was also a poet having written two thousand poems and an actor who performed with Crossroads Theatre and George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ as well as the Westside Theatre Ensemble Company in Atlantic City. As a believing person in Atlantic City and raised as an Episcopalian, Gene first served as multi-choir participant and educator in St. James A.M.E. Church. Then as a singer and soloist in several choirs, Gene served as an educator-minister under Rev. Collins A. Days, Sr. of Second Baptist Church. A dual member of Main Line Unitarian Church (via Zoom), Gene was supportive of every effort on the faith journey. Gene was a proud member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Gene was known for his dancing and love of history and politics. Eugene will be missed by all who knew him. A viewing will be 3pm to 5pm on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at Greenidge Funeral Home, 301 Absecon Boulevard, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Funeral services will be 11AM, Monday, June 6, 2022, at Second Baptist Church, 110 DR. I.S. Cole Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey, where family and friends may view from 10AM to11AM. Interment w3ill be 1PM Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at Brigadir William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, New Jersey. Arrangements are entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Atlantic City, New Jersey, where condolences maybe left at www.greenidgefuneralhomes.com
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