A walkable tour of Detroit '67 riot commemoration exhibits

Detroit 67: Perspectives, has several kiosks of memorabilia, film and photos that take us back to that violent summer and details the progress and setbacks that have occurred since.

It’s based on more than 400 oral histories.

"We tell Detroit stories and why they matter," says Detroit 67 Project Director Marlowe Stoudamire.

"Detroit 67 connects people inside and outside the museum to better understand our history and use this moment to help bring our community together."

Meanwhile, the Detroit Institute of Arts last month opened Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement, showcasing artists of the period and shortly thereafter.

It includes 34 paintings, sculptures, photos and installations addressing civil rights issues then and up to today.

Around the corner at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, has Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion.

It calls the riot a “rebellion” and compares it to similar events in the nation’s history. 

One section looks at the 1967 events and another features 40 national artists focussing on “tragedy and transformation” when people rebel, says the museum.

Next door at the Michigan Science Center, an exhibit of a completely different kind, though thoroughly Detroit.

It’s called Detroit’s Future of Mobility, and focusses on how the Motor City might respond to fast-changing vehicle technology.

A couple of blocks away at Wayne State University’s Walter P. Reuther Library, the exhibit 12th Street, Detroit, 1967, explores the summer’s unrest through primary source material, allowing the documents to “speak for themselves.”

It also looks at events in a wider context, showing connections between housing, policing and employment.

And get ready for September when a few blocks south on Woodward Ave. is a musical focussed exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance, explores Detroit’s extraordinary musical history.

There will be posters, records, magazines, photos, sculptures showing the interrelationship between music and racial politics, even protest.

But back at the Detroit Historical Museum, where the exhibit continues until December, the exhibit is community-driven.

Says Bob Bury, Detroit Historical Society Executive Director, "Detroit 67: Perspectives is part of a comprehensive community-wide effort to help our region reflect on the past, engage in the present and act to create a more prosperous future for all Detroiters."

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