The riots of July 1967 are not at the root of the problems that lead to Detroit’s decline. However, they do provide an exclamation point in the much larger story about the struggles the city has now faced for decades, including unemployment, poverty and decaying infrastructure.
For our series, "Summer of Rebellion," Morning Edition host Doug Tribou spoke with Wayne State University professor Robin Boyle about the legacy of that time period. Boyle has taught urban planning at Wayne State University for the past 25 years. He's also done extensive research on the Detroit and other Midwestern cities dealing with population declines.