Detroit History on Display in the Library: Remembering the ’67 Riot… Lessons Learned or Lost?

The city of Detroit was rocked by a civil uprising in the summer of ’67. What began as a raid on a “blind pig” in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23rd quickly evolved into a riot in which large parts of city were put to the torch. Fueled by racism, poverty, police brutality, redlining, industrial decline, urban sprawl, high levels of unemployment, black militancy, and inadequate, affordable housing, the riot, which lasted for five days, would ultimately claim the lives of 43 Detroiters, leave 1189 more injured, and lead to over 7000 arrests. For many Detroit natives the sight of burning neighborhoods, tanks rolling down residential streets, and living under martial law for five long days are images and experiences that can never be erased from their memory and have colored their perceptions of the city and its government, police, and inhabitants to this day.

The question remains… after forty years have we learned our lessons from those long ago days of violence and turmoil or have we as a city simply grown more entrenched in our fear and intolerance?

Please share your thoughts, recollections, opinions, stories, and family histories with the Marygrove community so we can move forward knowing we have Learned from the painful lessons of our past and ensure that those lessons are not Lost on our present and future. Click on the Post a Comment link below to share your view.

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