Coleman Young's Inauguration

The inauguration of Mayor Coleman Young in 1974 marked a milestone for many of Detroit’s residents.  For a city grappling with deep racial issues, electing its first Black mayor was seen as a sign of more representative city government. Young came into office hoping to bring investment, end the S.T.R.E.S.S. police program, better integrate city services, and turn around economic decline. Unfortunately, slowed manufacturing growth, continued population loss, and poor personnel moves by Mayor Young hindered Detroit’s rebound.

If you wanted to look for primary sources about Detroit’s continued response to the 1967 Unrest in the years after Mayor Young’s inauguration, where might you look? What individuals, organizations, and events would have produced the records that hold the keys to Detroit’s story in the 1970s?

Young, Coleman A.; Mayor of Detroit; Inauguration Day.

Image of Coleman Young being sworn in. January 2, 1974. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

Wonder, Stevie; Entertainer. & Coleman A. Young

Mayor Young and R&B musician Stevie Wonder speaking together. September 26, 1974. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

Mayor Young posing with unidentified Detroit residents.

Mayor Young posing with unidentified Detroit residents. c. 1977. Source: Coleman A. Young Papers, Part II, Audiovisual materials, Photograph Album.


Anti-S.T.R.E.S.S. pamphlet

Anti-S.T.R.E.S.S. pamphlet. Undated. Source: Kenneth V. and Sheila M. Cockrel Papers. Box 4, folder 35.

Demonstration in Detroit protesting the S.T.R.E.S.S. (Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets) program.

Demonstration in Detroit protesting the S.T.R.E.S.S. (Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets) program. A police unit established in 1971 to address street crime, S.T.R.E.S.S. was highly controversial. Citizens accused S.T.R.E.S.S. of promoting racial targeting and excessive force. Mayor Coleman Young eliminated the program in 1974. September 23, 1971. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

These flags may represent the Black Panthers. What sources would you consult to find out for sure?

Police recruitment report

“Guidelines for a Community or Statewide Police Recruiting Campaign to Recruit Minority Officers” booklet. c. 1960s. Source: Coleman A. Young Papers, Box 13, folder 10.

Unrest continued

Riots; Detroit; Livernois-Fenkell area

Fire in the Livernois-Fenkell area. July 29, 1975. Unrest continued well after 1967. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

Algiers Motel, Trial, 1970

The defendants in the Algiers Motel Incident trial. Three police officers and a private security guard (second from left), after their acquittal by an all-white jury on federal conspiracy charges. February 25, 1970. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

Despite the deaths of three young Black males killed during the Incident, which took place during the Unrest, only one of the officers was tried for murder, though he was acquitted.

Nazis; Demonstration by Nazi Group; Protests by Others; Kennedy Square

Violence erupts during demonstration by Nazi group in Kennedy Square. August 22, 1981. Source: Detroit News Photograph Collection.

Coleman Young's Inauguration