Detroit Historical Society
Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI
I grew up in Northwest Detroit in a diverse, middle-class neighborhood (African American, Jewish, Polish & Irish Catholics) where neighbors were friendly and helped each other. There was a National Guard Armory on Eight Mile Road nearby, and when the ’67 riots, tanks rolled down the street. I was 15 years old, but still have a vivid memory of standing on the front lawn and seeing many neighbors doing the same, watching in silence without looking at each other. Quickly afterward, “For Sale” signs went up where the White people lived (except for ours) and property values tanked, bringing with it loss of local small businesses (shops, drug stores), which were replaced with pornography video stores, crime, and lack of care for property. I remember hearing one of our African American neighbors complain to my mother about how hard he worked to move to a nice neighborhood and have a really good nearby public school for his children, only to have it ruined. I was extremely saddened. This experience strengthened my interest in, and concern for social justice and equality issues.
“Valerie Moule,” Detroit 1967 Online Archive, accessed September 24, 2017, http://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/601.