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‘67 uprising hurt Black people, elders say

Elmus Burks, Dorothy Wilson, James Hendrix

The 1967 Detroit uprising began in the early morning hours on Sunday, July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid on an after-hours bar on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into a rebellion lasting five days. Gov. George Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in Army troops. The result was 43 dead, 467 injured and over 7,200 interned. Did Black people help or hurt themselves by rebelling?

It helped by allowing us to vent our frustrations. We were an occupied community that lashed out at our oppressors. However, it did not solve our underlying problem. We did not follow through. Many of the small business owners left the city and we did not replace them. Eventually they were replaced by another foreign group. We are as bad off or worse than we were.
Elmus Burks

It hurt Black people. A lot of us still have that anger in us. We weren’t getting equal opportunity but we should have used a different method. We’re seeing the legacy we left our children played out today: The violence and refusal to get an education.
Dorothy Wilson

We hurt ourselves. The businesses along Mack that weren’t burned were closed and the owners left the city. We took over the politics of the city, but the economy was still controlled by the auto manufacturers. The banks gradually left the city. The school system deteriorated. We are not educating our young people to not shoot ourselves in the foot again.
James Hendrix

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