Detroit Public Television to Air “Summer ’67” by Local Filmmaker

By Karen Hudson Samuels/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det ) - A new documentary by Detroit-based Big City Films looks into the lives of the 43 people who died when Detroit went up in flames during the riotous rebellion of 1967.

“Summer ’67 goes beyond the victim demographic breakdown of “33 black, 10 white dead” into who were the individuals whose families lost a loved one and delves into how what happened 50 years ago, still shapes the city of Detroit and Southeast Michigan today.

Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bruce Harper, the documentary gets to the heart of one of the most troubling events in Michigan’s history through a trilogy of stories. “Finding the Lost" examines forty-three lives cut short that tragic week in July, while "The Day Before" and "Seeds of '67" explore Detroit in the hours that led to the explosion and five decades that followed.

“We see news footage of tanks and burning buildings year after year on July 23,” says Harper, “Our film takes a deeper look at the underlying origins and long-range outcome of a true American tragedy.”

Storytelling that combines music, historical imagery, rare photographs and original footage is the essence of “Summer ’67” coupled with family remembrances; Juanita Harper, sibling of 20-year-old George Tolbert, who was killed by the National Guard during the uprising, tells her story on film for the first time.

A Dialogue Phase is planned to engage the public in a series of discussions to address the underlying structural racism and related issues that impact poverty and social problems.

Big City Films has collaborated with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Detroit Equity Action Lab and Focus: HOPE to help facilitate the development of the dialogue sessions. Outlines for each event are designed to help audiences better identify and address their roles in creating positive race and community relations in southeast Michigan.

The documentary will first air Tuesday July 25th at 8:00 pm. on WTVTS Detroit Public TV Channel 56.







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