PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In honor of Black History Month, New Horizon Theater’s production of “Detroit ’67,” written by Dominique Morisseau, is taking place at Falk School in Oakland.
The play focuses on the riots that broke out July 23, 1967, after police raided an after-hours bar and arrested 83 African-Americans who were celebrating the return of two Vietnam Veterans.
Director Herbert Newsome believes the play fills a void.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t know anything about the Detroit ‘Riots’ or the Great Rebellion in Detroit in ’67,” he said. “It’s one of those things that aren’t really taught in history books.”
Civil unrest lasted for six days and resulted in the death of 43 people with more than 1,000 injured and the destruction of more than 2,000 businesses.
“We need to hear these stories, these parts of black history, these parts of American history,” says Newsome.
He also hopes that anyone who sees the play don’t shy away from the pain of the past but also leave with a bit of optimism.
“We can learn it so that instead of having a divisive America, we can acknowledge differences, come to the table, talk and move forward,” Newsome said.
Among the changes sparked by the civil unrest were the “Michigan Fair Housing Act” to combat residential segregation and the hiring of minorities by more Detroit businesses.
“Detroit ’67” runs through Sunday, Feb. 11. For showtimes and ticket information, visit newhorizontheater.org.