Your Stories

Ushered to Safety in the Detroit Riots

YEAR: 1968

Jo grew up in Windsor, and was 11 years old in the summer of 1968. Her 20 year-old brother was babysitting Jo and her 13 year-old sister, when he drove them across the tunnel to Detroit. He was worried about his girlfriend, in the midst of the riots all over the city. They arrived in the worst part of Detroit, where everything was burning, and people were running around with weapons. Jo was terrified, as they were 3 white people in a car with Ontario plates, suddenly surrounded by a group of 4 large black men. The men determined that Jo's siblings were just lost and innocent, so they helped push people out of the way and ushered they car safely back to the tunnel. It was a very powerful moment for Jo, as she realized that the people she was terrified of "had hearts of gold", and were only protesting the way they were being treated. Thanks for sharing, Jo.

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