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The Detroit Bus Tour

October 20, 2017

Jordan, the tour guide, explains the incident at the Algiers Motel in 1967. The movie, Detroit, didn't tell the whole truth about the event at the Algiers.

 The Algiers Motel is on Woodward Ave. This is where the brutal incident of the Algiers happened.  Not too long after, the motel wasn't getting much business and was eventually shut down and destroyed.

   

 

    I stared at the place where the horror seemed last for ever one night in 1967 in Detroit: The Algiers Motel. I went with my brother, my friend Ayanna, and Ayanna’s mom on the Detroit Bus Tour to learn about Detroit’s history.  The people who came on this tour  were mostly middle-aged, old and, oddly, most, were white. I think it’s because newer generations of blacks who already live in Detroit don’t think they should know the history of its events.

    We visited sites like Rosa Parks street which was once known as Twelfth Street. In the 1960's, there were small businesses all this street but after the 1967 Detroit Rebellion took place all the businesses were damaged, destroyed and removed. This rebellion ignited at a black after-hours club called The Blind Pig. Back then blacks weren’t able to go to any legal nightclub because they were owned by whites. Blacks also could not own their own legal nightclub. Therefore, they had to create a hidden, illegal after-hours club inside a store called Economy Printing. On July 23rd, the police raided a party that was for two soldiers who had just come back from the Vietnam war. The police arrested 85 people. As they were gathering and loading people up, a crowd of people came throwing rocks, bottles, etc. eventually burning buildings and arsing. This was the start of the ‘67 Rebellion.

     Another site we went to the area where the Algiers Motel was. People who know about the Algiers Motel either lived through it, or have watched Detroit, the movie about the horrific incident. Unfortunately,  the people who saw the movie do not have the whole story about the Algiers Motel incident in 1967. Our tour guide, Jordan, told us what really went down at the Algiers. He described the move, Detroit, as a horror movie rather than a drama. He said this because the violence was similar to something you would see in a horror movie.  I was shocked to learn from Jordan that, unlike in the movie, in real life, the black security guard from across the Algiers Motel helped the white officers interrogate and beat up the “suspects” who were in the hotel. These suspects were all male except for two white girls who there with them. In the movie the security guard was playing a good guy who didn’t beat up the suspects and instead tried to help figure out what was going on.  The real kicker here is that the black security guard himself was a consultant for this whole movie.  This means the  movie was based off of a biased person’s perspective.  As I listened to Jordan explain this, I thought: “How could Hollywood do this? Do they know who they were consulting with?” Jordan explained further that the police and/or the government tried to bury this incident so it could be forgotten. And over time people did forget...until August 4, 2017 when Detroit hit the theaters.




 

 

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