DETROIT – Some insights and recollections of Detroit’s 1967 riots, from those who lived through the unrest and its aftermath:
—”Our apartment was on the first floor and it faced the alley. The looters were all in the alley. Bang, bang, bang — there were guns going off. I thought we’d be shot while we were sleeping. We didn’t go out for a couple of days because it was too scary.” — Theresa Welsh, a college student in 1967.
—”In our neighborhood, everybody knew everybody. I saw people I had never seen. It wasn’t just black people out there looting. It was white people out there, too. I can remember going to people’s houses, friends. They were stocked up in terms of food in pantries and kitchens … all the kinds of things they had not eaten before or couldn’t afford before.” — Deborah Chenault Green, a 12-year-old then.
—”I was a librarian at the Detroit Public Library. (It) did close — we were there and sent home. We were told to take a thick book and drive home holding it next to our head … in case we were shot at.” — Anne Watts.
— “The riots didn’t do what they were supposed to do for us: Help us have people recognize the equality that was supposed to be part of our (nation’s) heritage. It just ruined neighborhoods. Some of the places I grew up … were never rebuilt, have never come back.” — Miller London, who had been a car salesman.
— “Detroit really has been doing so much better. They gotta concentrate on the neighborhoods, but it’s also trying to bring the people back. If you don’t get people coming back and paying taxes it’s really not going to grow.” — Azerine Jones, a 13-year-old at the time.