159 race riots erupted across America in 1967 with the worst happening in Newark and Detroit. The Detroit riots, sparked by a police raid of an after-hours welcome-home party for a Vietnam vet, led to 40 deaths and two-thousand-plus injuries, hundreds of properties going up in smoke, as well as the National Guard being called in to restore order. There were many root causes of the Detroit riots, including systemic racism and the steady decline of economic opportunities that drew many blacks to the city in the first place. The Metro Times, Detroit’s counterculture weekly, provides an evocative evaluation of the riot and what led to it. There are numerous high-quality images. The account is not balanced, however, focused entirely on the remembrances of black and white radicals of the time.
A radical’s oral history of Detroit in 1967
When your subgenre’s flagship song is “Ass N Titties” it’s tough to get philosophical. It’s time to party. Ghettotech grew out of Detroit’s legendary techno scene as pure party jams. Get the RPMs up, get the booty poppin’. With DJ Assault joined as DJ Godfather as the headlining party people, the subgenre enjoyed a fun decade run starting in the mid-90s. This oral history includes some great images and graphics from the time.
Ghettotech: An Oral History; The definitive story of Detroit’s dirty little genre
The Motor Lounge didn’t last a decade, but its run as a premier techno club is well worth chronicling. All of Detroit’s techno royalty played the club numerous times, and quality outside talent eventually joined the fun. The principals reflect on the highs and lows of the frantic run.
Nightclubbing: An Oral History of Detroit’s Motor
8 Mile was a bit of a surprise hit in 2002 and maybe more so because the filmmakers focused on the grimy underbelly of much-maligned Detroit. What showed through was talent, intense ambitious talent–all taken from the thriving local rap scene.
Losing Yourself All Over Again