In 1967, Bill Williams was a teenager living with his extended family not far from the intersection of 12th Street and Clairmount Avenue. His mom, uncles and grandparents had pooled their money to purchase the house. He remembers it being a big step up from the farmhouse he’d lived in near Tiger Stadium.
And then, July 23, 1967 happened.
In this episode of the StoryCorps Detroit podcast, Williams tells his friend Cindy Muñoz about the destruction he witnessed living so close to what he calls “the riot.” He remembers neighbors guarding firefighters with rifles, finding bullet holes that went through brick, and that the soldiers his grandmother made him bring pop to were anxious but nice.
At one point Muñoz asks Williams about the legacy of 1967, and in his response he says, “It seems fewer of us make it now.”
Click on the player at the top of this page to listen to this episode of StoryCorps Detroit. You can also subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.