Venita Shelton-Mitchell


Venita Shelton-Mitchell


Venita Shelton-Mitchell was 14 years old and spent July 23, 1967 in Canada. When she returned, her bus was almost forbidden from crossing the border.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


I was a child when the 1967 riots hit Detroit. The first day of the1967 I was 14 years old and had traveled on a with the neighborhood block club to a picnic in Canada's Pt. Peele. So we were away that day from the bedlam that was occurring. That evening though when it was time for us to return to the US, we were stopped at the bridge for inspection. There was a lot of adult conversation going on around us about the rioting that was occurring in Detroit. There was talk about not allowing the bus to return. I overheard this conversation and became afraid thinking that I would not be able to go home to my family. Eventually after much discussion with the patrol guards at the bridge we were not allowed to return. The bus driver scurried through the streets to return us to our neighborhood. I remember getting off the bus and running home wondering if all would be well and it was.
There was a curfew imposed on the city and we were all stuck in our homes until the next day. My aunt lived on Joy Road above some stores and we were worried about her as the looting had taken place during the night. We drove down to see her and when we arrived you could see where all the windows to the store were bashed in, the doors were torn away from the stores, and debris was everywhere. This was before cell phone days so we yelled out to her and eventually she came to the window to let us know she was ok. My mom had her to gather up things she would need for herself and her children and we all got in the car and drove back to northwest Detroit where we lived I remember the 1967 Detroit Riot as the scariest time. I never really got over it and am terrified at the least bit of hint of civil unrest to this day!

Original Format


Submitter's Name

Venita Shelton-Mitchell

Submission Date





“Venita Shelton-Mitchell,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed May 18, 2021,

Output Formats