Beyond Rochester’s ’64 riots

July 24, 2014

“Race Riots Rock Rochester: Curfew Imposed.” This Times of India headline on July 26, 1964 typifies hundreds throughout the world that announced startling news from a city known largely for its close-to-idyllic quality of life. The news stories reported that on a hot July evening, a small street dance party suddenly transformed into an angry mob scene of several thousand citizens countered by all available Rochester law enforcement.

After three days of mayhem, uneasy quiet was finally restored. The results of the riots were alarming: four people had been killed; more than 1,000 citizens — both African Americans and whites — had been arrested; and the damage to property totaled more than one million dollars, with numerous commercial properties beyond repair.

Rochester’s riots were classified as “most severe” and preceded many others through out the United States during the Sixties summers.

July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Rochester’s riots. This exhibition acknowledges that it is good to remember and to continue learning from what happened in 1964. “Beyond Rochester’s ’64 Riots: 50 Years Seeking to Make One City Out of Two” showcases a balance of highlights from the past and the present-day, in search of a fresh perspective on ways to move our community forward.

The exhibition is located in the Friedlander Lobby (main lobby off of the Eastman Quad) of Rush Rhees Library through October 5, 2014. It is available for viewing during library hours.

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Category: Society & Culture