50 Years After The Fires

Perspectives of Detroiters on 1967 and Michiganders on race relations in 2017.

house and street sign
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

This story originally aired on WKAR in July 2017.

 

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. 

 


East Lansing city hall photo
WKAR File Photo

Tonight, the East Lansing City Council is expected to make a symbolic gesture that’s taken 50 years to materialize.

 


Karel Vega / WKAR-FM

Lansing is steadily becoming more diverse. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of people living in the city who identify as two or more races rose by over 62-percent between 2000 and 2010. 


Kevin Lavery / WKAR Public Media

Crews are starting to board up about 11,000 vacant houses across Detroit.

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.

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