Members of the community who lived through the July 1967 event stand along side the Michigan Historical Marker on the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Clairmount Avenue in Gordon Park. This was the epicenter fifty years ago, where the Detroit uprising began. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA News Network)

   

 
 

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U.S. Rep. John Conyers stands before the Michigan Historical Marker on the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Clairmount Avenue in Gordon Park. This was the epicenter fifty years ago, where the Detroit uprising began. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA News Network)

  Time and space leaves its mark on epicenter of Detroit's 67' Uprising

By Karen Hudson Samuels/Tell Us USA News

DETROIT (Tell Us USA) - A Michigan Historical Marker now stands on the site where fifty years ago Detroit erupted into days of rioting and rebellion against police handling of a raid on a blind pig.

Gordon Park, at the corner of Rosa Parks and Clairmount, is where the marker was unveiled over the weekend following performances and speeches by city officials and community.

The marker is a solemn reminder that unaddressed grievances of police brutality, and racial discrimination harbored just below the surface of a city heralded as a model city.

In remembrance of the events of 1967 speakers from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and U.S. Congressional Representative John Conyers addressed the estimated 300 people gathered for the marker ceremony.

The Mayor spoke of the social climate of the times, he said “White and black Detroiters experienced the police department in very different ways.” People turned their backs on in other he said instead of reaching across the aisle in “racial understanding”.

Police Chief James Craig was 10 years old and his father an auxiliary officer of the 10th in 1967. Growing up he heard of stories of mistreatment of black men by the police department. But Craig told the crowd "The 1977 Detroit Police Department is not the 2017 Detroit Police Department," He spoke with pride of a former Detroit police office r being hired recently to the position of Chief of Police in Dallas Texas.

Congressman John Conyers was in his first term as U.S. Congressman when the disorder began to spread he recalled standing on a car with a bullhorn trying to subdue the crowd as the raid on the after-hours joint turned violent.

Onlookers watched revealers, attending a party for a returning Vietnam veteran, being loaded into policepaddy wagons. A brick was thrown at a police vehicle and the spontaneous action sparked a civil disturbance that descended into people looting, fires burning, U.S. Army troops in tanks and the National Guard patrolling the streets, by end 43 people had died and the charred remains of vibrant neighborhood were left smoldering.

While the once thriving businesses and professional offices that lined, what was then called 12 Street are gone, the physical reminders remain; plans are underway by the Detroit Historical Society and Twelfth Street Collaborative to bring placemaking to Gordon Park and surrounding areas.

The Detroit Historical Society is responsible for getting approval for the marker and for the DETROIT 67: PERSPECTIVES exhibition at the Detroit Historical Museum. The exhibit explores the complex issues and environment that existed in metro Detroit in the years before and after.




 

 

 

 

 

   
   

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