In June 1943 a race riot erupted in Detroit Michigan, a city brimming with ~400,000 wartime migrants competing for jobs and housing.

Fueled by false rumors of racial attacks in both black and white communities, the rioting continued from June 20 until June 22 when 6,000 federal troops were ordered to restore peace. 34 people were killed (25 of them black) by police or guardsmen and 433 were wounded (75% black).  ~$2 million of property was destroyed, most of it in the black area of Paradise Valley, the poorest neighborhood of the city.

Contemporary reports by commissions made up of whites attributed the riot to black hoodlums. The NAACP, however, identified longstanding problems in Detroit with housing, job discrimination, lack of minority representation in the police, and police brutality.

Historical analysis suggests that most white rioters were young, unemployed or in semi-skilled jobs. Many traveled far to join armed groups that attacked black neighborhoods. The black rioters were mostly older working men, married and longtime residents of Detroit who were defending their homes and neighborhood against the police and white rioters; however, they also looted and destroyed white-owned property.