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Racial discrimination, segregation provided “tinder” for 1967 Grand Rapids uprising

Downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo
Creative Commons
Kent County's Adminstration building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the 1967 uprising in Detroit. What some call a rebellion, some a riot, left 43 people dead and thousands of buildings in the city destroyed.

Michigan Radio did a deep dive into the history and legacy of that event last year. This year, we’re focusing on a smaller uprising that started just two days later,  on July 25th, 1967, in Grand Rapids.

Matthew Daley, Associate Professor of History at Grand Valley State University, joined Stateside to talk about what happened. 

Daley said there was "a lot of tinder lying around for that spark” that set off the events of that week in Grand Rapids. 

At the time, the city had serious problems related to housing segregation, job discrimination, and police violence, which all contributed to the riots that summer. 

Although there were no deaths in Grand Rapids, and far less property damage than was seen in Detroit, around 1,000 people were reported to have been a part of the uprising.

Listen above to hear more about the causes and consequences of the 1967 Grand Rapids riots. 

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