Avra Weiss


Avra Weiss


Avra Weiss lived with her husband and infant son in July of 1967 when the disturbances made them feel unsafe.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


I was born in Detroit at Hutzel Women's Hospital, attended Roosevelt Elementary, Durfee Junior High, and Cass Tech High School. I also attended Wayne State University, graduating in 3 years in 1966. My husband and I got married in Detroit in 1965, and our first baby was born in March of 1967, at Sinai Hospital in Detroit. I was a Detroiter all the way - my entire life...

Suddenly, in July of '67, everything changed! The Riot made me afraid to go outside. Someone shot a gun at our small apartment bldg, at 7551 Pilgrim, leaving a bullet hole in the front door. We became so frightened for the safety of our infant son, that my husband and I grabbed him and a few baby items, and quickly left to stay with my in-laws, who had recently moved to Southfield.

A few days later, when we made a trip back into the City to fetch more of our belongings, we were stopped at 8 Mile road by National Guardsmen, who asked where we were going, and wanted to see proof that our address was indeed within the city boundaries, but not in the actual vicinity of the rioting. They let us go home, and we retrieved essentials (including our wedding album and family photos, which seemed so important to us at the time). We were concerned that our apartment building might burn down.

I don't remember much about the next few days and weeks, except that we followed every bit of news about the riot on radio and television. We went home when the authorities assured us it was safe to do so. But we never got over feeling afraid.

Shortly after that, we borrowed money to make a down payment on a starter house in Southfield, and we moved out of our apartment in Detroit by September. We've been suburbanites ever since.

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Submitter's Name

Avra Weiss

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“Avra Weiss,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed January 17, 2022, http://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/356.

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