Race Rioting Erupts in Detroit (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The most devastating race riot in U.S. history set off riots in other major cities and showed that reforms of the 1960’s had neglected a sizable segment of the black population.
Summary of Event
On the surface, Detroit, Michigan, in 1967 was one of the success stories of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Under the administration of Mayor Jerome Patrick Cavanagh, Detroit had prospered, and so had many of its blacks. Many blacks commanded high wages in Detroit’s factories and occupied high positions in the United Auto Workers union. Consequently, approximately 40 percent of the city’s 555,000 blacks owned or were buying houses, many of which were in integrated neighborhoods. Mayor Cavanagh had also attempted to reach out to the underprivileged in his city through his federally funded antipoverty agency, Total Action Against Poverty, which provided $200 million for jobs, job training, education, and recreation. Blacks in Detroit had also attained a share in political power. The director of Total Action Against Poverty, the chief civilian assistant to the police commissioner, and two of the seven members of the board of education were black. In addition, Detroit in 1967 was the only city in the United States that had two black members of Congress. Because of his sensitivity to the political needs of minorities, Mayor Cavanagh was very popular with many blacks in his city. Beneath the...
(The entire section is 2200 words.)
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