50 Years After The Fires

An outside shot of Plymouth Congregational church.
Katie Cook / WKAR-MSU

White privilege is an issue that’s being discussed more and more in recent years. But what exactly is it?

WKAR's Katie Cook explores that question with a diversity and white privilege expert, and with the pastor of a Lansing church studying the topic. 

Jamie Paisley

Head to the Detroit Institute of Arts for their artistic take on 50 years after the 1967 Uprising in Detroit.


wide view of East Lansing
WKAR File Photo

All this week, WKAR has reported on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 uprising in Detroit.  The disturbance brought many civil rights issues to the forefront...beliefs and values that extended far beyond Detroit.


Jamie Paisley

Inside the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, curator Patrina Chatman decided to take a different path when it came to addressing the 1967 Rebellion which shook the museum’s home city of Detroit.


Detroit street
Detroit Public Television / DPTV

Fifty years ago today, Detroit was in devastation.

 

The police raid of an after-hours bar on July 23, 1967 triggered a massive wave of arson, looting and sniper fire across much of the city.

 

The Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan National Guard and even U.S. Army troops were deployed to bring order to Detroit.  Their presence, however, only seemed to escalate the anger.

Current Sports | July 25, 2017

Jul 25, 2017
Detroit street
Detroit Public Television / DPTV

Big Ten Media Days; MSU Football; Mark Dantonio; Detroit Riots; Willie Horton; Scott Pohl; Drama in the NBA.

Bob Wall photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

Detroit wasn’t the only city in Michigan that experienced racial tension and violence during the turbulent summer of 1967. Disturbances ranging from shootings to broken windows were also reported in Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Mount Clemens, Benton Harbor and Pontiac.

In the Calhoun County city of Albion, the racially diverse population led some to call the town “Little Detroit.”

WKAR’s Scott Pohl went to Albion to talk with people who were there, and remain there today.


Willie Horton photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR-MSU

On July 23rd, 1967, tensions in Detroit boiled over into what came to be known as the Detroit riots. By the time the unrest ended several days later, 43 people were dead, more than a thousand were injured, and two-thousand buildings were destroyed.

The Detroit Tigers were hosting the New York Yankees on that first day, and one young African-American Tigers star who had grown up in Detroit tried to bring calm to the chaos at the intersection of 12th and Clairmount, the epicenter of the riot, while still in uniform.

Willie Horton tells his story of July 23rd, 1967.


house and street sign
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

In the early 1960’s, Detroit had one of the highest standards of living in the country. 

But not everyone shared in the wealth. 

In 1967, Detroit’s undercurrent of unrest burst to the surface.  The riot that began on July 23 was the start of the worst civil disturbance in American history. 

 


MSU sociology professor Carl Taylor
Reginald Hardwick / WKAR Public Media

Michigan State University sociology professor Carl Taylor, Ph.D was 17-years-old when disturbances broke out in his Detroit neighborhood on June 23, 1967.