Day 5 / 24th Aug. 2010: Detroit (Belle Isle)

Bridge to island: “Altercations between black and white youths started on June 20, 1943, on a warm Saturday evening on Belle Isle. A fist fight broke out when a white sailor’s girlfriend was insulted by a black man. The brawl eventually grew into a confrontation between groups of blacks and whites and then spread into the city. The riot escalated with a rumor that a mob of whites had thrown an African-American mother and her baby into the Detroit River. . . . Another false rumor swept white neighborhoods that blacks had raped and murdered a white woman on the Belle Isle Bridge. . . . The riots lasted three days and ended once Mayor Jeffries and Governor Harry Kelly asked President Roosevelt to intervene with Federal troops. Over the course of three days, thirty four people were killed. Of them, twenty five were African–Americans, seventeen of whom were killed by the police. Thirteen murders remain unsolved. Out of the approximately six hundred injured, black people accounted for more than seventy-five percent, and of the roughly eighteen hundred people who were arrested over the course of the three-day riots, black people accounted for eighty-five percent.” (Wikipedia)


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