A picture of the replica Algiers motel sign in the 1967 Riot display room at the Detroit History Museum.
Jamon Jordan explaining the history of the Detroit's free press at the Detroit History Museum in the basement of the building.
Hurry! Don’t miss it! The Detroit History Museum is closing down the 1967 display room at the end of 2018. Take a tour of the 67’ rebellion and the history of Detroit, given by historian Jamon Jordan, who guides bus tours as well as Museum tours. Not only does he vividly explain the ups and downs of the dirty truth of Detroit's history but he also goes all the way back to the 1800s, to the real gritty history that may change lives and how you feel about your city.
The tour starts in the basement of the building, the first level of the museum. Jordan Begins to talk about the first recorded riot in the city and the causes and effects of the rioting and the people. The cause of the riot was an African american man being charged of rapeing a 9year old white girl and a 12year old black girl. The town's free press decided to tell the town where he would be and the time of his trial. The town then decides to to give him his trial on the spot. The effect of that led to the crowd shooting at the young man who was being guarded by the police the police than fires back into the crowd and kills two people. The town then riots the town burning down all the buildings African Americans worked in, and areas they lived in. He as well explains the history of the Detroit Free Press. He explains that the Free Press was actually a republican party and then later in the years changes over to the democratic side, and why the party’s decided to change sides. As we move on in history he stops us in the time when the Macomb's were the wealthiest family in Michigan. Not only did they own all the land of which is what we know now as macomb county, The Macombs also owned an island which now we know as Belle Isle. As he goes deeper into the history of Detroit we get the opportunity to go over the time of slavery in our northern state. He discusses the Underground Railroads and and the people who helped make it possible for slaves to be free. He moves on to the 1920s-30s to talk about the first colored school and how the first black church actually made the school. Before Brown vs The Board of Education happened a school teacher had gone to the court to fight for her students based on the the fact that the schooling system should had been the same no matter the district or the color of one's skin. The governor of michigan then made it a law to integrate the schools in Michigan, but the law was not being forced in the school districts.
With all the information you learn on the tour it’s too much to type on paper. You should go more than once, you get taught so much at once the tour leaves you in a whirl of questions. The history is so rich that the knowledge you discover is worth more than gold. It’s as pure as the hard working souls that built our city Detroit. Everything you learn should be taught in a classroom, but yet not even a third of people who live in Michigan knows the history of the city that gives Michigan it’s motivation to keep pushing forward and the power to pull through the hardest times.