Skip to Content

Summer 2017: Beyond '67 - The City-Wide Citizen's Action Committee

Join us for a special summer edition of our Detroiters Speak series! 

Throughout the series, we will be exploring the following ideas:

The 1967 Rebellion is rightfully viewed as key turning point in the history of the city and the region. However, the long dominant narrative depicts “the riot,” crime, and the rise of Black political “misrule and corruption” as the root cause of Detroit’s subsequent woes. This Speakers Series challenges this declension narrative by interrogating the history, policies, and grassroots struggles that took place over policing, state violence and surveillance; white flight, capital flight, and deindustrialization; and poverty, and housing policy and financing policies and practices in the decades that immediately followed.

The series seeks to address the following questions: What contributed to Detroit’s decline? How did Detroiter’s respond and fight back? What are the similarities and differences between Detroit in 1967 and Detroit today? 4) Are recent “redevelopment” efforts, growing spatial, racial and class inequity, and the dismantling of local political control and democracy replicating the racial, social, economic, and political conditions that sparked the 1967 Rebellion?

This 4-part series of community conversations is organized by SID Visiting Professor and Historian, David Goldberg of the Wayne State University Department of Afro-American Studies.

These events are free and are held at the historic McCollister Hall inside the Cass Corridor Commons (4605 Cass Ave) on Thursdays from 6pm-8pm. 

 As always, all sessions feature a light dinner. For questions, email semesterindetroit@umich.edu

June 29: Policing Post-Rebellion Detroit

This session featured the following speakers (detailed bios below):

  • Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd (Distinguished Professor in African American Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, and an Adjunct Professor in Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor)
  • Danielle McGuire (Adjunct Associate Professor in the History Department at Wayne State University, Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians)
  • Ronald D. Glotta (Attorney, Glotta & Associates; AV® Preeminent™ Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, Michigan Association for Justice member)

DETAILED SPEAKER BIOS:

DR. MELBA JOYCE BOYD
Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd is a Distinguished Professor in African American Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, and an Adjunct Professor in Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. She is an award-winning author or editor of 13 books, nine of which are poetry. Death Dance of a Butterfly received the 2013 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry, Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall received the 2010 Independent Publishers Award, the 2010 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry, and was a Finalist for the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Poetry and the 2010 ForeWord Award for Poetry. She wrote the official poem for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is inscribed in the museum dedication wall.
Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press received the 2005 Honor for Nonfiction from The Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Boyd’s critically acclaimed and widely reviewed, Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911, (1994) was the first comprehensive study of Harper. Boyd’s poetry, essays and creative nonfiction have appeared in anthologies, academic journals, cultural periodicals and newspapers in the United States and Europe. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bremen, and has a Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, and B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Western Michigan University.

DANIELLE MCGUIRE
Danielle McGuire is the author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance-a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (Knopf, 2010), which won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Lillian Smith Book Award. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the History Department at Wayne State University where she won numerous teaching and research awards. Her dissertation on sexualized racial violence and the African American freedom struggle received the Lerner Scott Prize for best dissertation in women’s history. Her essay, “It was Like We Were All Raped: Sexualized Violence, Community Mobilization and the African American Freedom Struggle,” published in the Journal of American History, won the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize for best essay in southern women’s history and was reprinted in the Best Essays in American History. McGuire is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, BookTV (CSPAN) and dozens of local radio stations throughout the United States and Canada. Her essays have appeared on the Huffington Post, TheGrio.com and TheRoot.com.

RONALD D. GLOTTA
Ronald D. Glotta defines himself as an attorney who believes in the militant representation of workers against the ravages of capitalism. Over the past five decades, he has honed his expertise in the areas of workers' compensation law and social security law. He has spent the majority of his career at the helm of Glotta & Associates, a law firm located in Detroit, Mich. There, he maintains a large and loyal clientele comprised of more than 100 clients.
Mr. Glotta earned a JD from the University of Michigan in 1966 after receiving a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Kansas. After graduating from law school, he was hired by a workers' compensation firm in Muskegon, Mich. "I felt like a fish thrown in water - it was exactly what I wanted to do," he says. He soon established his own law firm in order to provide the best possible services to his clients. In recognition of his commendable work, Mr. Glotta has been repeatedly distinguished as an AV® Preeminent™ Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®. He is also a member of the Michigan Association for Justice.
In addition to his work in the office and courtroom, Mr. Glotta is the author of "The Road to Hell Is Not Paved with Good Intentions." The book examines societal structures in the United States that abuse and oppress basic human freedoms. More information about the book can be found on his firm's website, and theroadtohellonline.com. Both sites feature articles and audio commentaries by Mr. Glotta as well. He has also been quoted in the following publications: "Muscle and Blood: The Massive Hidden Agony of Industrial Slaughter in America," by Rachel Scott; "Black Rage: Two Black Psychiatrists Reveal the Full Dimensions of the Inner Conflicts and the Desperation of Black Life in the United States," by William Grier; "Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City," by Heather Thompson; and, "Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution," by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin. "My position is that every human being wants to believe that their life has importance. The way you do that is by making a difference," Mr. Glotta notes. "Struggling for a decent human society is the way that I do it."

July 6: 'Capital Punishment': Deindustrialization, Automation, and 'The End of the Line'

Featuring the following speakers: Jerry Goldberg, Austin McCoy and Darryl Mitchell

Panel will focus on the process of automation, industrial decentralization, and plant closures during the 70s and 80s. Dr. McCoy will focus on grassroots efforts to combat plant closures in the 70s and 80; Goldberg will talk about his experiences in the plant and organizing the left during this period, as will Mitchell.

More information and detailed speaker bios to come.

July 13: Property, Poverty, and Profit: Post Rebellion Land Use and Housing Policies and Practices from land contracting and HUD to HOPE VI

Featuring the following speakers: Jackson Bartlett, Gene Cunningham, and Jerry Pappendorf

Ph.D Candidate Jackson Bartlett will discuss the impact of HUD policy(ies) on Detroit in the 70s and late 80s/90s, Gene Cunningham will talk about his research and activism on housing nuisance abatement laws while working as an aide to City Council during the 70s and early 80s, and Pappendorf will speak on the tax foreclosure crisis, the policies that gave rise to it, and potential remedies to prevent displacement.

July 20: 'Detroit: Remodeled City:' Post-Industrial Rebirth or Looming Powder Keg?

Short data presentation by David Goldberg. Group discussion led by Stephen Ward.

More information to come.