detroit 67 project
The Detroit Historical Society, and dozens of partners, are in the throes of their 50th anniversary look-back at 1967.
"Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward is a multi-year community engagement project of the Detroit Historical Society that brings together diverse voices and communities around the effects of an historic crisis to find their place in the present and inspire the future."
Last week, I spoke with Tobi Voigt, Senior Director of Education and Outreach at Detroit Historical Society, about the Detroit 67 project. Since they started planning for the event 5 years ago, I wanted to get her insight about lessons learned and best practices. Here are a few things I learned:
1. The issue of language is very important. They struggled with what to call what happened in 1967, hence their use of the term "historic crisis" in their promotional materials.
2. That the current racial and class struggles in Detroit informed and continues to inform every inch of the project.
3. That oral histories have been central to the project.
4. Their historical society, like ours, is a (historically) white-run & white-focused institution and the staff has had to contend with that racialized legacy with Detroit 67.
The Detroit 67 exhibition opens on Saturday 24 June. I hope to travel to Detroit for the opening.