The Buffalo Riots of 1967, also known as the Buffalo Race Riots, took place 50 years ago on June 26. The five-day riot caused thousands in damages and rocked the poor east side of the city, causing the governor at the time to call in a Black baseball legend to intervene.
According to one account, the riots began after the violent arrest of a pair of Black youth on the east side by white officers. This prompted around 200 to 350 Black people to gather and throw stones. The following day, crowds swelled to around 1,500 and began trashing buildings and cars.
As the riots raged on, Gov. Edward Rockefeller of New York called on Jackie Robinson, the famed Brooklyn Dodger player to intervene. Robinson served as a Special Assistant for Urban Affairs for the governor and met with Mayor Frank Sedita to come up with a solution. There was a promise of jobs and plans to address some of the racism in the city but little was done.
The riots ended on July 1 and left an estimated $250,000 in damages and over 180 people arrested. Amazingly, there were no deaths reported in the melee. Today, Buffalo’s east side still suffers under the many of the conditions that plagued it 50 years prior.
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Little Known Black History Fact: Buffalo Riots 1967 was originally published on blackamericaweb.com