Mrs. Potter


Mrs. Potter


Mrs. Potter remembers troubled times during 1967 and her experiences of coming to terms with the unrest, coming home to a torn city, and the news of the beating of her brother.


Detroit Historical Society




Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI






Written Story


This is my story I am going to give it to you now- thank you for allowing me two minutes. I was out of town, before the riot. I left and stayed with my auntie but we got into it, and I left and came back home. This is my hometown- I was born and raised here. And when I got back, everything was tore up. I was in denial and I didn’t realize it was really a riot. I walked into [somewhere] and I even heard Bill Bonds on the television! I am telling you, I was really paranoid. And when I saw the soldiers come in, I thought it was a parade going on. That’s how tough it got. And I didn’t want to go stay with my mother and father, because [although] my mother was really nice to me, my daddy was abusive. So I stayed at a building downtown, which is still standing today. It was called the Salvation Army and they were taking people in. Finally I wind up going back to my abusive boyfriend, but that’s a whole another story altogether...
The main thing I want to talk about is the 1967 riot. When I came in, like I said, I was in denial. And I found out my brother got beat up by five Caucasian guys during the riot. I found that out when I went back to my boyfriend, but like I said, I was in denial. I was on the streets. I was homeless for a minute. I stayed at Salvation Army and I kept hearing them [unintelligible] fire trucks all night long. I didn’t know anything. The women in the next room from me said she had snipers burn her house up. And I’m like, “What? What are you talking about?” I couldn’t even sleep. And that’s when I finally almost realized there is a riot. And I can always remember that day, my brother winding up almost dead. He was in the hospital in critical condition. That was a terrible memory. He’s still living, but my daddy saw him get beat up and didn’t know it.

Original Format

D67 voicemail message

Submitter's Name

Mrs. Potter

Submission Date





“Mrs. Potter,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed January 24, 2021,

Output Formats