Black Day in July

23Jul07

And now a break from our regularly scheduled programming…

Forty years ago today, the city of Detroit erupted in violence. Most people call it a race riot, but from the (obscenely) little that is historically available about the incident, I think it was more opportunistic than anything else. I don’t know what happened, I’m not old enough; fifteen years had passed by the time I was born. Despite attempts otherwise, we haven’t left it behind. What was one a city of nearly 1.5 million, is now nowhere near a million, and the area is still one of the most segregated in the nation.

There’s a forum on Friday July 26th at Wayne State to discuss how we go forward from here.

How, after forty years of sweeping it under the rug do we finally face the segregation and the racial tension? I don’t know, but if you do, go to the forum and try to make a difference.

“Black Day in July” Gordon Lightfoot

Black day in July
Motor city madness has touched the countryside
And through the smoke and cinders
You can hear it far and wide
The doors are quickly bolted
And the children locked inside
Black day in July
Black day in July
And the soul of Motor City is bared across the land
As the book of law and order is taken in the hands
Of the sons of the fathers who were carried to this land

Black day in July
Black day in July
In the streets of Motor City is a deadly silent sound
And the body of a dead youth lies stretched upon the ground
Upon the filthy pavement
No reason can be found

Black day in July
Black day in July
Motor City madness has touched the countryside
And the people rise in anger
And the streets begin to fill
And there’s gunfire from the rooftops
And the blood begins to spill

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