Darryle Buchanan was an altar boy in 1967. He was ironing his robe for that morning’s mass when his mother, working at the local hospital, called to tell him not to leave the house. Buchanan recalls a neighborhood torn apart but says why he is still hopeful for a new Detroit.


This is part of a series of eyewitnesses to the civil unrest that broke out in Detroit in 1967, after a summer of nationwide outbursts. The violence lasted five days and left 43 people killed, 1189 injured, over 7000 arrests and more than 2000 buildings destroyed, making it the deadliest instance of civil disorder since the Civil War draft riots. It served as a catalyst for Pres. Johnson’s establishment of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which was tasked with finding the cause of these outbreaks. Their conclusion: “We are moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”

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