Buffalo Race Riots Of 1967: When Black New Yorkers Decided To Unite And Defend Their Own

The Buffalo race riots lasted from July 1st, 1967, through July 1st, 1968. It resulted in more than 180 arrests and an estimated $250,000 in property damage, according to authorities. Poor housing conditions, limited job opportunities for Black youth as a result of the post-World War II de-industrialization process, low-quality education, inadequate social support systems, discriminatory laws, and racial bigotry all contributed to the release of pent-up frustration that the Black residents of Buffalo, New York shared with the rest of the world on June 27th, 1967, in the form of the Buffalo Soldiers’ March on Washington.

It was a Monday, according to history, and two African-American youngsters were involved in some sort of dispute when they were confronted by two white police officers as a result. The interference of the two white police officers appeared to have enraged the residents of the Lakeview projects, a public housing complex in Buffalo, New York, where the incident occurred.

Moments after the white police officers interjected themselves into the affairs of the African-American debating teenagers, some 200 to 300 African-Americans descended on the site, saying that the two white police officers had used excessive force in the course of their duties.

Stones, bottles, knives, clubs, and every other thing that might be used as a weapon by the African-American community flew through the air in the direction of the police officers who were on the site to help defuse the situation and put an end to the commotion.

Although the police force was present, it did nothing to calm the rioting crowds that were gathering. As a result of their presence, the inhabitants of the Lakeview apartments became even more outraged. Because on the second day of the riot, around 1500 African-Americans were documented as participating in the ruckus.

This turn of events may not have been the greatest course of action for the African-American community in Buffalo, but as some participants in the riot stated, “it was the only language the authorities understood,” and as a result, they were forced to “speak” it.

Although it should be noted that racial discrimination against the African-American community and a severe lack of job opportunities as a result of the de-industrialization process that followed the Second World War were just two of the many underlying causes of the riot, it should also be noted that Although the Black residents of Buffalo may be remembered as angry and destructive, they must also be remembered as a community of oppressed people who stood up for their own and for themselves.

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