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MCC Daily Tribune Archive

The Rochester Riots of 1964: A Walking Tour of Joseph Avenue

In July 1964, race riots broke out over three days in Rochester, ending in four deaths and the arrests of more than 1,000 residents. Starting Tuesday, July 15, area residents interested in learning about the 1964 Rochester race riots can take a self-guided walking tour of the Joseph Avenue neighborhood using a new guidebook, “The Rochester Riots of 1964: A Walking Tour of Joseph Avenue.” 

The tour and guidebook are the creations of Prof. Verdis Robinson, History, and service-learning, History students at MCC’s Damon City Campus. Since the MCC Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project was launched in fall 2013 to stimulate community conversations about race relations and the 50th anniversary of the Rochester riots, MCC students have taken what they learned in the classroom and developed various platforms to foster dialogues in Rochester neighborhoods and online.

The walking tour follows in the footsteps of rioters and takes readers to eight stops along Joseph Avenue, where the riots began. The purpose of tour is to show how the Joseph Avenue neighborhood has changed, explore the effects of racism, and engage the community in improving the neighborhood.

The tours are scheduled for July 15, 17, 29, and 31 at 4 p.m. at the Rochester Public Library’s Lincoln branch on 851 Joseph Ave., where free copies of the guidebook are available. Refreshments will be provided and parking is available.  For more information, contact Prof. Robinson at <>. 

Verdis Robinson
Anthropology/History/Political Science/Sociology