September 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

Where we stand, 4 decades after that fateful summer

The unrest that began July 23, 1967, became a symbol of Detroit as a deeply divided city and continued to fuel white flight to the suburbs. By 2000, Metro Detroit had become the nation's most segregated region, according to a Detroit News analysis of census data.

Four decades after violence left Detroit with a legacy of destruction and distrust, racial attitudes and suspicions are tempering, a Detroit News poll shows.

More whites say they would prefer to live in evenly mixed-race neighborhoods than in white-dominated communities, a dramatic change from 20 years ago. Fewer African-Americans believe whites want to oppress them and fewer whites feel that blacks dislike them.

At the same time, blacks see stubborn or worsening discrimination where most whites don't believe it exists -- in jobs, housing and justice.

Photo gallery

Images from the Detroit News archives show scenes from the city during the week of July 23, 1967

Interactive features

Video

Audio slideshows

  • 1967 aftershocks rock Dobel Steet: This working-class neighborhood in northeast Detroit was an ideal place to grow up, where everyone knew everyone else. But 40 years of hate, mistrust, misunderstanding, miscalculation and lack of communication have devastated the area.
  • 'The Big Four is coming!' Tiuana Davis recalls the four-man police patrols in middle-class neighborhoods that often resulted in arrests of black men for no reason.
  • House still shows bullet holes: To this day, people drive by and point at Metri Duley's home on La Salle Boulevard, which bears the scars of the violence.
  • Probation officer: 'It was a civil war': Mike Stacy processed 7,200 people for curfew violations in two days at Recorder's Court. He explains why, afterward, he left the city he loved.
  • Store owner's son reflects on looting: Michael Sarasky was 14 when he helped his father clean up the mess left after looters cleaned out their liquor store.

Audio

  • Sheila Cockrel, Detroit City Council member: 'It was a not a race riot; it was a rebellion'
  • Roger Drobney, Michigan National Guard photographer: 'They just kept shooting at me'
  • Pete Waldmeir, retired Detroit News columnist: 'Police covered their badges, didn't want to be targets'
  • Tiuana Davis, Detroit resident: Mom took items from grocery store, saying, 'We have to do this to survive'
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