"If racial progress comes from understanding, then knowing history must be a part of it. To that end, Colling’s work is a fine contribution and a ’must read.’"
- Howard McCurdy, President, Windsor and Detroit Black Coalition
The Detroit Riot of 1967 marked a turning point in the attitudes and behaviour of people in all walks of life in the Border Cities. As the citizens of Windsor watched their nearest neighbour burn, the way they felt about Detroit changed radically. Perceptions of race relations, of the city across the river, and indeed of themselves, were altered in ways many had not thought possible. For the City of Detroit, the riots created an irrevocable change. Throughout its history the city has struggled with concerns of labour, social and racial justice, but today Detroit is experiencing a renaissance as it continues to address the outcomes of the conflagrations of 1967.
This book, written in the present tense as if the story is unfolding before the reader’s eyes, analyzes one small portion of Detroit’s history: the events leading up to, and immediately following, the Riot. Taken largely from first-hand accounts of the people who lived it, Detroit’s racial history is viewed through the eyes of its nearest neighbour, at perhaps the city’s darkest, but most poignant, moment. In an effort to comprehend the past, in order to better understand the potential for the future, this book examines differences and similarities of life on the Canadian and American sides of the river. By delving into our collective past, Herb Colling vividly portrays the violence and the frustrations of the time, and sets the stage for a more optimistic tomorrow.
Herb Colling has an abiding interest in, and respect for, local history. His first two books deal with the auto industry in Windsor. He cut his teeth in 1993 on Pioneering the Auto Age, about Windsor as an automotive capital of Canada, and went on to write 99 Days: The Ford Strike In Windsor, 1945, which was published in 1995.
Colling graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in Toronto with a Radio and TV Arts Degree, followed by journalism studies at Carleton University, Ottawa. An announcer and reporter for CBC Radio in Windsor, he began his broadcasting career at the age of 16 at CKMP in Midland. A former agricultural commentator for CBC, he won the Jack Cramm Memorial Trophy for excellence in farm broadcasting and, in 1986, took First Place for news reporting: Canadian Farm Writer’s Federation. He was also the winner of an Award for Excellence in promoting farm safety. Most recently, he wrote and produced a CD for the 50th anniversary of CBC Radio in Windsor.
An active scuba diver, rower and sailor, Colling wrote a scuba column and sailing articles for Waterline Magazine in Windsor. He has also written fitness and rowing articles for FIT magazine, another local Windsor publication. Colling is a consummate traveller whose travel stories have appeared in The Ottawa Citizen, The Windsor Star and The London Free Press. He is currently working on an anthology of his own short stories and poetry.
Since 1967, Colling has been interested in the Detroit riot, has always wondered what prompted it and how it impacted on residents in Windsor. This book is the result of that inquiry. He hopes it sheds light on the riot, its implications and on our racial development in both the United States and Canada.
This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.