July 23, 1967 is a critical date in Detroit‘s history. Early that morning, Detroit Police raided a “blind pig“—an illegal after-hours bar—near 12th Street (now Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount Street. Clashes between officers and residents in the neighborhood escalated into a citywide riot that lasted for five days, left 43 people dead, and inflicted wounds that are still felt today. As the 50th anniversary of that event approaches, the Detroit Historical Society is collecting personal stories from people who remember where they were and what they were doing at the time.
WDET’s Pat Batcheller spoke with the society’s executive director and CEO Bob Bury. He says he hopes the Detroit 1967 Oral History Project will create a clearer understanding of what caused the riot then and its impact now.
The Detroit 1967 Project team will conduct personal history interviews at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 25 at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. The events are free.
Stories can also be submitted by calling 313-885-1967 or visiting www.detroit1967.org.