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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

How A Detroit Blind Pig Became The Center Of A Social Uprising in 1967

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Image credit: Detroit Historical Society

Bridge Magazine’s Bill McGraw tells the story of how a police raid ballooned into social unrest.

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Photo courtesy of Bill McGraw.
Photo courtesy of Bill McGraw.

In 1967, an uprising in the city of Detroit — that some classify as a riot and some call a rebellion — began at a blind pig restaurant on the city’s west side.

WDET’s work with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC) takes a deeper look at the issues that led to the overwhelming tension in 1967 and what has changed or remained the same since that time.

Bill McGraw is a reporter for Bridge Magazine, one of our partners in the DJC. He talks with Detroit Today Host Stephen Henderson about his new profile on the blind pig at the center of the uprising and the family that ran it at the time.

The blind pig is an after-hours drinking place,” says McGraw. “They were mainly African American and, of course, as we know, the police force was mainly white in those days. And that was one of many clash points between the black community and the police — the police raided the blind pigs.”

He goes on to describe how a police raid at this bling pig escalated into what eventually turned into the widespread civil unrest in the city.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


Detroit Journalism Cooperative

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 detroitjournalism.org.

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.



Detroit '67: A Reflection

This post is a part of Detroit '67: A Reflection.

WDET is reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 riots with stories and photos from people in the community who lived through this historic event.

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