Detroit Riots of 1943 Essay example

Detroit Riots of 1943 Essay example

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The Detroit Riots of 1943

Since the time of slavery, racial tension has existed between whites and blacks. This tension has only increased with the passing of time. This conflict culminated in the 1940s in the form of mob violence. While there have been previous riots because of race relations, none of them were of the magnitude of the 1943 Detroit riot. Much like any other event involving racism in the 1940s, the Detroit riot has little coverage, most of which is skewed, in articles in the nation?s leading news sources such as ?Deep Trouble? in Time, ?Riotous Race Hate? in Newsweek, and ?The Truth About the Detroit Riot? in Harper?s. Thus, one must compare articles from these sources to ascertain accurate information. Even when comparing these accounts, the reader finds discrepancies in the causation and destruction of the Detroit riot. By analyzing these descriptions, one can also notice the similarities between the Detroit riot and other mob violence during that time period. For example, James Baldwin?s retelling of the Harlem riot in ?Notes of a Native Son? bears great similarities in causation and destruction with the Detroit riot.

Tensions in Detroit finally broke during a beautiful summer day on the 20 of June 1943. At the Belle Isle Park, at least one fistfight broke out between a black man and a white man. Discrepancies arise when inquiring into why this fistfight broke out. Time attributes the cause to be tensions between races in the park. Newsweek describes the source of the tension as white resentment for the blacks in the park in addition to the increase in the number of jobs held by blacks in Detroit. In this account, blacks had feverishly taken over the park, hardly leaving room for the white pe...


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...s. But despite these variations, there is one underlying fact which unites the three: The African-American community?s hatred for white America and vise versa. However, this hatred is not only unique to the Detroit area. Based on the striking similarities between the events of the Detroit and Harlem riots, one can see that this hatred was felt by both sides across the nation. And based on the aftermath of both incidents, one can conclude rioting accomplished nothing but further damage to the African-American communities.

Works Cited

Baldwin, James. ?Notes of a Native Son.? 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.

Brown, Earl. ?The Truth About the Detroit Riot.? Harper?s Nov. 1943 : 488

?Deep Trouble.? Time 28 June. 1943 : 19+

?Riotous Race Hate.? Newsweek 28 June. 1943 : 48

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