Buffalo riot of 1967

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The Buffalo riot of 1967 references the race riots that occurred on the East Side of Buffalo, New York, from June 26 to July 1, 1967. On the afternoon of June 27, 1967, small groups of African American teenagers cruised the neighborhood of William Street and Jefferson Avenue breaking car and store windows. By night nearly 200 riot-protected police were summoned and a battle ensued.[1]

Many African Americans, three policemen and one fire fighter were injured. Although the riot dispersed that night, it began again the next afternoon with fires set, cars over-turned, and stores looted whether or not they had "soul brother" written on them. This time 400 police were summoned. Forty blacks were injured, nearly half from bullet wounds.[1]

The riots virtually shut down the city. During the night of June 28, over 40 people were hurt, 14 with gunshot wounds.[2] On June 30, Jackie Robinson, then serving as Governor Nelson Rockefeller's Special Assistant for Urban Affairs, met with Mayor Frank Sedita about the riots. It was the first move by the Governor to intervene in the violence.[3]

On November 10, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King visited Buffalo and in a speech titled "The Future of Integration" at Kleinhans Music Hall before about 2,500 persons sponsored by the Graduate Student Association at the University at Buffalo proclaimed: "We are moving toward the day when we will judge a man by his character and ability instead of by the color of his skin."[4][5][6]


  1. ^ a b "The Circle Association's African American History of Western New York State, 1935 to 1970"
  2. ^ "Preliminary Report on the Disturbances in Buffalo June 26 - July 1, 1967," by the Staff of the Store Front Education Centers
  3. ^ "Robinson Sent to Buffalo's Riot District," by the Associated Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 1, 1967.
  4. ^ "Massive Action Urged: King Says Negro In Economic Trap," by Richard E. Baldwin, Buffalo Courier-Express, November 10, 1967.
  5. ^ Race, Neighborhoods, and Community Power: Buffalo Politics, 1934-1997, by Neil Kraus, Published 2000, SUNY Press, Buffalo (N.Y.)
  6. ^ Google books reference Walter C. Rucker, James N. Upton, Encyclopedia of American race riots (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2006) p. 83-84.