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Bill McGraw worked at the Detroit Free Press for 32 years as a reporter, editor and columnist. He was cofounder of Deadline Detroit.

He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage.

Bill Scott threw the first bottle at police, an act that encouraged violent uprisings by black Detroiters in 1967. His son grew up thinking his race didn’t matter. Until one night, suddenly, it did.

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He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage: Part 2

The father The origins of the Scott family’s story is a familiar one in Detroit. William Walter Scott II, the owner of the blind pig and Bill Scott’s father, was born in Georgia and came to Detroit as child, just as the […]

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He started the Detroit riot. His son wrestles with the carnage: Part 3

Ann Arbor Bill Scott never did move back to Detroit. For the Ann Arbor of that era was a cauldron of activism, music, drugs and experimental ways of living and thinking, with John Sinclair and the White Panthers, SDS, feminist scholars, the […]

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The War on Crime, not crime itself, fueled Detroit’s post-1967 decline

In this Q-and-A, historian and National Book Award finalist Heather Ann Thompson argues that draconian police tactics in black Detroit neighborhoods had as much to do with the city’s decimation as white flight and lost jobs.




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Three prison reform ideas drawing bipartisan support

Increasingly, policymakers across the political spectrum are coalescing around specific areas to reduce prison populations and successfully integrate inmates back in their communities.




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Hatch contest leans toward white winners in majority black Detroit

The $50,000 Hatch Detroit competition has helped startups launch creative businesses in the thriving central city. But winning entries for entrepreneurs of color in Detroit’s neighborhoods have proven more elusive.




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DJC Poll: Black and white optimism on Detroit-area race relations

Yet the Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey on racial attitudes also shows that bias infiltrates the daily lives of blacks in the region a way that many whites can’t imagine.




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Metro Detroit racial divide is widest over police

The Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey found significant optimism over racial attitudes in general. But blacks and whites have vastly different experiences — and opinions — concerning law enforcement.




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In an African-American city, black clout wanes

African Americans may now control who’s elected mayor or to city council, but nearly 50 years after racial despair led to deadly insurrection and rioting, a view persists that white political and business interests continue to steer the city’s course.




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Riot or rebellion? The debate over what to call the 1967 disorder continues

Was it a riot or a rebellion? Or both? Nearly five decades after the last fire was extinguished, the discussion continues over what to call the events in Detroit during July 1967.




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A quick guide to the 1967 Detroit Riot

Sunday, July 23 through Thursday, July 27: What happened, by the numbers.




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Redesigning Detroit: Mayor Duggan’s blueprint unveiled

Mayor Duggan and his new planning director are quietly redrawing boundaries to join stable neighborhoods with blighted areas to transform both




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Meet a Detroit neighborhood that’s not waiting for city help

Like many impoverished, obscure corners of Detroit, the neighborhood of Eden Gardens knows it can’t afford to wait for the cavalry to arrive. While residents are eager for blight removal, they’re not waiting for the city to fix their community.




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In Detroit neighborhood showered with love, uncertainty remains

Despite government and philanthropic attention, the eastside community of MorningSide remains a neighborhood on the brink




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Detroit’s next hot neighborhood is hiding in plain sight

Real-estate developers have discovered Milwaukee Junction, the semi-anonymous district northeast of Midtown. Will black Detroiters share in its revival?




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12 signs of growing interest in Milwaukee Junction

Real estate developers have descended on this long-ignored district to plan lofts, art galleries and other amenities in what many are predicting is the city’s next hot neighborhood.




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A steady doctor for babies to call their own

More than 80,000 low-income infants and young children in Michigan don’t have access to a primary care doctor to nurture their development.




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Preschool for 3-year-olds – high cost, higher reward

Adding a second year of preschool nets long-term gains for children in poverty, and for state, studies show.




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