Color Photographs capture the Detroit Riot in 1967.


The Detroit Race Riot in Detroit, Michigan in the summer of 1967 was one of the most violent urban revolts in the 20th century. It came as an immediate response to police brutality but underlying conditions including segregated housing and schools and rising black unemployment helped drive the anger of the rioters. On Sunday evening, July 22, the Detroit Police Vice Squad officers raided an after hours “blind pig,” an unlicensed bar on the corner of 12th Street and Clairmount Avenue in the center of the city’s oldest and poorest black neighborhood. A party at the bar was in progress to celebrate the return of two black servicemen from Vietnam. Although officers had expected a few patrons would be inside they found and arrested all 82 people attending the party. As they were being transported from the scene by police, a crowd of about 200 people gathered outside agitated by rumors that police used excessive force during the 12th Street bar raid. Shortly after 5:00 a.m., an empty bottle was thrown into the rear window of a police car, and then a waste basket was thrown through a storefront window.