June 20th in African American History – The Detroit Race Riot

The Detroit Race RiotJune 20, 1943 The Detroit Race Riot began with a fist fight between a black man and a white man on Belle Isle.

The fight eventually grew into confrontations between groups of blacks and whites, spreading into the city. Rumors that black women were being assaulted and white women being raped fueled the confrontations. Stores were looted and buildings burned, primarily around the black section of town called Paradise Valley.

After 36 hours, Federal troops restored peace to the streets. Over the course of the riot, 36 people were killed, 25 of whom were African American, 600 injured, 75% of which were African Americans, and 1,800 people were arrested, with black people accounting for more than 85%.


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