Category Archives: Civil Rights/Freedom Movement

50 years after the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids: What we know and what can we learn?

On July 25th, 1967, Grand Rapids police officers arrested several Black youth, when they pulled them over believing they were in a stolen vehicle. One source says that the officers may have used excessive force in dealing with the Black youth, according … Continue reading

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WOOD TV 8 footage of the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids

(Thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library for directing me to this archival material.) Last week, we posted a 1987 story from the Grand Rapids Press  about the 1967 riot in Grand Rapids, where two men who were part of … Continue reading

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A Retrospective on the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids, Twenty Years Afterwards: From the Grand Rapids Press

(This is the first of a series of postings that deal with the 1967 riot in Grand Rapids, which took place 50 years ago between July 25 and July 27.) “It is not enough for me to stand before you … Continue reading

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3000 march in Grand Rapids after Birmingham Church Bombing – 1963

On Sunday, September 15 of 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church was the site on a White Terrorist bombing, resulting in the deaths of four African American girls – Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair. … Continue reading

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The Mustache Affair in Grand Rapids, as reported on by the Commercial Media in 1966

(Special Thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Grand Rapids City Archives for assisting with finding the material sources here.) Chapter 4 of Todd Robinson’s important and insightful book, A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle … Continue reading

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High rent and overcrowding was a potential threat of “slum development” for blacks in a 1947 Grand Rapids Urban League study

We would like to thank the staff at the Grand Rapids Public Library in their History and Special Collections sections for assisting us in find the documents needed for this post. Three weeks ago we posted an article about a … Continue reading

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State of the Black Community in Grand Rapids – 1940

n 1940, the Urban League conducted a survey of the black community in Grand Rapids . The survey revealed some interesting trends and dynamics and can be instructive for those of us who want to learn from history. The report … Continue reading

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