25 July 2007

40th Anniversary Newark and Detroit Riots Commemorative Pics

A couple of months ago, I shot the trio of pics below to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan riots.

Can't say I know much about 'em, even in spite of having seen a recent documentary on the Newark riot, Revolution '67, on the PBS series POV a couple of weeks back.

Nonetheless, here they are.

The first pic depicts, and I've long since forgotten where I saw this, the lone African-American Michigan National Guardsman on patrol in Detroit during the course of the five-day long riots.

Considering that one of his white colleagues was quoted as saying that if a potential target moved and was black, he'd shoot, I wonder what that African-American guardsman must have thought and felt while the riots were going on, and after that.

The second depicts an African-American man being detained by two New Jersey Guardsmen during the Newark riot.

The third and final shot depicts an African-American man laying on the sidewalk in Detroit, Michigan, after having been shot.

By whom, well, I'll leave that up to you.

But, at least according to one site where I got names and some personal info about the 43 people killed during the Detroit riots, more likely than not, he was probably shot by either a Michigan National Guardsman or a Detroit police officer.

In closing, am enclosing a small list of links to sites where you can get more and better info on the Newark and Detroit riots of 1967, than the meagre amount provided here.

For starters, let's go to the Wikipedia entries for both, at, respectively, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12th_Street_Riot(Detroit Riots), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Newark_riots(Newark riots, of course).

Then, let's go to the Rutgers University site on both riots at http://www.67riots.rutgers.edu/, which provides an detailed, academic overview of the events preceding, during and after the riots.

After that, we'll head over to the Revolution '67 page at PBS. org, so you can see more about the documentary, its creators, and get more info on the '67 Newark riot.

It's at http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2007/revolution67/index.html.

The next link's to Bongiorno Productions', the company that made Revolution '67, site at http://www.bongiornoproductions.com/REVOLUTION%20%2767/Revolution%20%2767.html.

Finally, am enclosing a couple of sites that have a bit more personal takes on the Detroit riots of '67, the first being a site dedicated to, and listing the names and personal stories of the 43 dead in those riots(and from where I got that figure and the info about most of the casualities being caused by police and National Guard fire), Detroit Riot Victims, at http://www.geocities.com/michdetroit/riot1967.html.

The second is to a blog entry by a fella who was a child in the Detroit area when the riots broke out, and their aftermath, and this entry contains his reflections on both.

It's at http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/09/nola-05-detroit-67.html.

The blogger wrote this in September, 2005, and, in the post, he links the various similarities he saw between how the news media covered those riots and the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina.

As always, the opinions, etc, found on these various sites, aren't the responsibility of, nor endorsed by, blah, blah, blah, Yours Truly, but belong to those who own, maintain and post on 'em.

So, please don't send me any nasty e-mails(not that you've before)about what someone said on their site or blog.

BTW, sorry for the small number of links here. There are a lot more out there, but I'm a lazy sod, so that's why there aren't more.

At the very least, hope they're a good start for whatever 'Net expeditions you may make to find out more about these topics.

Be seeing you.

1 comment:

Linkin Mall said...

During the Detroit riots of 1967, I was a member of the Coast Guard Station on Belle Isle. I was a 20-year-old Seaman. Our station had a crew of 15. Each night, the Officer in Charge and 7 crew-members went home. Seven members stayed overnight - boat coxswains, engineers, and non-rated boat seamen. The station was adjacent to the Detroit River. A chain link fence surrounded the other three sides of the station. However, there was no gate. A chain covered the gateway. A sign hung from it: "Keep out by direction of the Commandant." Anybody could step across.

A large crowd gathered outside the fence. The Officer Of The Day, a First Class Petty Officer (equal to an Army Staff Sergeant), opened the armory and distributed weapons to us. In addition to bedding and basketballs, the armory had three M-1 rifles, three .45 caliber pistols, one .22 caliber pistol that looked like a .45, a double-barrel shotgun that somebody had left there, 24 bayonets (for three rifles), 12 nightsticks, and more Shore Patrol armbands than our full crew could wear. There was a box of plastic helmet liners painted white. A recruiter had stuck on decals that said, "If you have what it takes, take the Coast Guard." As I put on my helmet, I thought the decal might send the wrong message to the crowd. I put a five-bullet clip into the rifle and affixed a long chrome bayonet. I knew the Army had newer M-16 rifles with fully automatic fire.

We ran a 40-foot patrol boat out of the slip and tied it to the sea wall behind the station. The twin engines were left running.

The front door of the station faced the driveway. The back door of the station faced the sea wall. There was a small porch with three steps at the front of the station. We assembled on the steps with our plastic "come and get us" helmets and our shore patrol armbands. Three men stood on the lowest step, holding .45 caliber pistols against the side of a leg. Three men stood on the top step, holding M-1 rifles with affixed bayonets. Our First Class Boatswain's Mate stood beside the steps, holding the shotgun. Our front door was propped open. We were told, "If they cross the chain, everybody fire once, retreat down the hall to the back door, jump on the boat, and move into the river." We were told not to fire until the First Class Boatswain's Mate directed us to do so.

The Boatswain's Mate used a bullhorn to shout to the crowd that they must stay out of the property and that we had regular station personnel inside in addition to the security force outside. We did not. We were the regular station personnel.

After about thirty minutes of standoff, three Detroit Police tanks swept in front from the East, the direction of the Army Nike Site. They were blue steel armored vehicles with three huge rubber tires on each side. There were gun ports. The Police tank crew pushed the crowd west.

The Detroit Harbormaster Police patrolled the island by car and boat. Our missing crew-members reported to the Harbormaster Police and were brought by boat to the station as they trickled in. Although we continued to see crowds of people, no one attempted to enter our station. We maintained a 24-hour guard. No one got liberty to go home for about 7-10 days.

The riots were still happening when I transferred to Great Lakes Navy Hospital for training as a Coast Guard Hospital Corpsman.