Bridge-linked documentary on Detroit’s 1967 uprising hits Amazon Prime

The 1967 civil disturbances in Detroit were the most deadly of a string of violent confrontations that shook several American cities that year.

 

A Detroit-made documentary about the city’s deadly 1967 civil disturbances has been picked up by Amazon Prime Video’s streaming services.

“12th and Clairmount,” produced by the Detroit Free Press in collaboration with Bridge Magazine and WXYZ-TV, debuted in March 2017, 50 years following the violence that left 43 dead and block after city block in flames.

The film chronicles years of racial tension in Detroit stoked by discriminatory housing and police practices that targeted African Americans, followed by the destruction of neighborhoods and thousands of arrests that summer. It is free for Amazon Prime members, and can be rented to nonmembers for $1.99 or $2.99.

The documentary is told primarily using historical interviews with white and black residents, old media footage and vintage home videos, and takes its name from the intersection where the uprising first began at an after-hours speakeasy known as a blind pig in July 1967.  

Bridge reporter Bill McGraw, an expert on Detroit’s history and a producer of the film, contributed much of the research for the documentary, which also played at film festivals in Traverse City and New York City.  

McGraw, who has since retired from Bridge, wrote several articles for Bridge and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative leading to the 50th anniversary of the events some call a riot and others, a rebellion.

Bridge turned DJC reporting on the events of 1967 into a book, “The Intersection: What Detroit has gained, and lost, 50 years after the uprisings of 1967,” also available on Amazon,  based on a yearlong investigation into the social and economic conditions in Detroit that led to the violence.

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Comments

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Thu, 06/13/2019 - 5:04pm

I was there the day it started attending a Tigers game, on the way back to Lansing on the John Lodge Freeway we could see a lot of smoke and a helicopter, we didn't know what was going on since there was a news blackout, I remember a building right next to the freeway with flames shooting out of it. We were lucky the Tigers game ended when it did and we got out safely.

mary therese lemanek
Thu, 06/13/2019 - 7:48pm

A time and place that will not be forgotten for those of us who were there for it. A time and place that should be made known to anyone who came afterwards.

Jackie Sweeney
Fri, 06/14/2019 - 9:13am

My mother was working downtown at that time. (We lived in Trenton) Her car was caught up in the violence and she took the bus home. I was 12 years old and it was a scary time! Curfews were imposed and a lot of restrictions were enacted. I will admit that I didn't completely understand the circumstances, but we were afraid! It was a long time before my mother got her car back and it was never the same - eventually giving it to my older brother to work on. Also, it was several weeks before she went back to work at Union Investment. Eventually, she took another job Downriver when the company moved to Southfield-as did other Downtown companies - partly as a result of the riots.