Murder in the Motor City:
The 1967 Detroit Riot and American Injustice
Today, as protestors around the country demand an end to police violence and cities like Chicago, Ferguson and Baltimore simmer and seethe with racial tension, understanding the causes and consequences of the Algiers Motel murders and the history of the 1967 Detroit uprising holds the promise for reconciliation and future change. Failure to heed this history can only lead to what James Baldwin called “the fire next time.”
Last night I spoke with Betty Jean Owens’s grandson, Amonte Martin. He and I talked over the past decade–first when my Journal of American History article came out and since my book was released in 2010. We chatted about history, family and especially the health and well-being of his grandmother, Betty Jean Owens, who was
In May 1959, four white men kidnapped and raped an African American college student in Tallahassee Florida. When her classmates at Florida A & M University found out about what happened, they mobilized and demanded justice. Their public protests helped force the local prosecutor to charge the assailants with rape and bring them to trial.
After listening to Oprah Winfrey’s passionate and inspiring speech about Recy Taylor, #TimesUp and the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes in January, the Congressional Black Caucus decided to honor Recy Taylor for her courageous testimony about her brutal rape in 1944. (Read about Taylor and her history here) Mrs. Recy Taylor passed away on
Kidada Williams and I partnered to write this story about Shawana Hall for Bridge Magazine, which was published on December 14, 2017. Here it is: Shawana Hall was celebrating her 31st birthday on a cold, rainy night in April 2008, when she met a middle-aged man who asked her to accompany him to a party