Long, hot summer of 1967

A man is taken into custody in Detroit.

“The summer of 1967 was a season divided by emotion. For the bohemians in San Francisco, it was the Summer of Love: an embrace of free love, psychedelics, and rock ‘n’ roll. But for many black people across the country, the summer of 1967 was something else entirely: a release of pent-up resentment over institutionalized unemployment, abusive policing, and shoddy housing. In the first nine months of the year, the federal government recorded 164 ‘civil disorders’ in 34 states. But tensions peaked during the sweltering summer months, fueling a wave of violent protests in more than 150 cities. It would become known as the ‘long, hot summer of 1967.’ The National Guard was deployed in at least a dozen states; news networks broadcast footage of troops descending upon the chaotic streets of Detroit alongside scenes from the Vietnam War. ‘No one is safe on the streets, in his home, or on his property,’ Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) said early that summer. ‘We are rapidly approaching a state of anarchy.’ By the time the smoke cleared in September, the tally of destruction was staggering — at least 83 dead, thousands injured, and tens of millions of dollars in property damage, with entire neighborhoods burned to the ground. At the heart of the unrest was black anger over racial injustice and oppression. The 1964 Civil Rights Act may have banned segregation and employment discrimination, but for blacks across the country — not just in the South — life three years later was still far from civil. In fact, it was often instances of violence against black Americans, particularly by police, that triggered the riots in the first place. In Newark, New Jersey, reports of a black cab driver being beaten by officers during arrest sparked immediate backlash on July 12, culminating in a commercial district being set aflame and 23 black men, women, and children dead at the hands of the military. In Detroit, a police raid of an after-hours club filled with black patrons on July 23 set off five days of violence, which left 43 people dead, thousands injured, and more than 7,000 arrested. At the end of July, President Lyndon B. Johnson set up a commission to investigate the cause of the riots. The findings — known as the Kerner Report — published in March 1968 argued that ‘white racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture which has been accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II.’ …”
The Week
W – Long, hot summer of 1967
50 Years After Race Riots, Issues Remain the Same
YouTube: Summer of ’67 – how Detroit changed forever in 5 days

In this July 14, 1967, photo, National Guardsmen stand at the corner of Springfield Avenue and Mercer Street in Newark, N.J., where four days of deadly violence and looting came to be known as the Newark riots

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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