The Intersection: A Detroiter Tells Her Story

During Detroit’s most infamous summer, Melba Boyd was a newly graduated Detroit Pershing High School alum. The 1967 rebellion, as she labels it, had a profound effect on her.

She is now chair and distinguished professor at Wayne State University’s Department of African-American Studies.

Speaking on Detroit Today with Host Sandra Svoboda, Boyd recalls her childhood in the city and life as an adult here, where racial power is tilted toward white society at the expense of African Americans. She finds the Kerner Commission was accurate when its members’ predicted society was moving toward two societies, “one black, one white, separate and unequal.”

Certainly when the Kerner report came out,” says Boyd, “I remember very clearly that is spoke to the kind of racism [prevalent in Detroit].”

To hear their full conversation, click on the link above.

Original air date: March 10th, 2016

Image credit: Wayne State University

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



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