back arrowHeat and Light

Detroit is Burning


Episode description

As 1968 began, the city of Detroit was dealing with the aftermath of some of the worst race riots the country had ever seen. That year, the Kerner Commission, appointed by president Lyndon Johnson, placed the blame squarely on the way the police and the city government had handled the response. In this episode, Jeffrey Horner, a professor of urban studies at Wayne State University, speaks with Phillip about how race and class divisions met with economic and social upheaval to shape the city as it tried to rebuild... and also how the city shaped them, as they themselves grew up in Detroit at the time.

Read more in this accompanying article from Jeffrey Horner: Police killings of 3 black men left a mark on Detroit’s history more than 50 years ago

Music on this episode: Something to save" by Komiku, found on, licensed under CC0 1

“This tuning is so dramatic” by Monplaisir, found on, licensed under CC0 1

Archival audio WKNR Contact News - Detroit 1967

Address to the Nation Regarding Civil Disorder, 7/27/67. MP594.

Racism in America Small Town 1950s Case Study Documentary Film

Misconduct allegations mount inside Detroit Police Department

Police misconduct costing Detroit millions of dollars

Ex-DPD officers charged with misconduct

Detroit police officer charged with assault and misconduct in rough arrest at Meijer

Police brutality at Detroit Meijer 8 mile and Woodward

The Detroit 1967 Riots: A Community Speaks

episodes iconMore Episodes

The Left’s Gift to Nixon

October 1st, 2018


1968 is often remembered as a time of revolution, when liberal activists stood up to the powers that be and established progressive movements that …

Why God Votes Republican

September 26th, 2018


The white Christian left was once a powerful influence on American politics, in an era when faith did not dictate political inclination. Then came …

The Mother of All Demos

September 17th, 2018


A computer may have been the size of room in 1968, but it was still a watershed year for tech industry. That year saw the founding of the Intel …

An Interracial Kiss - on Another Planet

September 3rd, 2018


In 1968 America, a country where interracial marriage had been legal nationwide for only a matter of months, the idea of romance between the races was still a controversial proposition. That made it all the more …

Fear of a Non-Nuclear Family

August 28th, 2018


In 1968 the “Norman Rockwell” picture of the American family – the husband as breadwinner, the stay-at-home wife and mother, two kids, a white picket fence – was still widely accepted as the ideal. But things were …

Revolution Starts on Campus

August 27th, 2018


The radical student takeover of Columbia University in 1968 sparked a worldwide student protest movement: From Eastern Europe to South America, …

Heat and Light: Trailer

August 9th, 2018


Coming August 28th, The Conversation US presents Heat and Light: Stories from 1968, the year that changed America.

1968 was a year of huge social upheaval for the United States. We go deep into six key but lesser known …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store