Detroit Historical Society launches Detroit 1967 Project

Almost 50 years ago, all eyes were on Detroit as the city's race riots gripped the country. Now, the Detroit Historical Society is hoping to continue the education and discussion of what we learned that summer.

The Detroit Historical Society unveiled the Detroit 1967 Project that encourages discussion of the city and its race relations. 

As the city continues to rebuild, the Detroit Historical Society wants to bring the dialogue of race relations up again. While it will expose old wounds, it's no secret that those wounds still hurt. Detroiters know that the racial divide is still an issue in the Motor City. 

So, what do we do to move forward?

The 50th anniversary of the riots will be in 2017. In 2016, the Historical Society hopes to open the project with video and archived footage from that year. It will explain what happened and how we can hopefully prevent it from happening again.

Former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon was an officer with DPD in 1967. He was driving home one day when he was stopped. Here's what happened.

"I stepped out and said 'police officer', which they could see. They said 'tonight you're gonna die'," McKinnon said. "When the cop pulled his gun, I dove back into my Mustang and used my hand to push accelerator to drive off."

McKinnon said the very next year, he thought his boss was crazy when he told him these two things: in this lifetime we may see a black President and one day and then-officer McKinnon may become police chief of Detroit. Both came true.

As the project gets going, the Historical Society is asking for your contributions. Click here to find out how you can help preserve memories.