Riot Victim's Children Remembers Father's Legacy

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HARRISONBURG -- It has been close to 50 years since the March on Washington. For siblings Daniel Jennings Jr. and Serena Shuler, it brings to mind another significant period in American history.

"It was just a very hard time, it was kind of like there was a war going on within the city," said Serena Shuler, whose father was a victim of the Detroit riot of 1967.

It was caused by a high level of racial tension in the city.

Serena Shuler's father was one of 43 people killed in the riot, more than half of them were black.

"We later found out that our dad had been killed and it was just very very tough," said Shuler.

Her father Daniel Jennings left behind fifteen children, one of them bearing his name. Daniel Jennings Jr. Was only ten years old when his father died.

"It was like he didn't even finish his work and that was really hard for me," said Daniel Jennings Jr., whose father was a victim of the Detroit riot of 1967.

The last conversation Jennings Jr. had with his father was about their favorite sport, which is Football.

"We talked about the Detroit Lions, my father was saying yea son. This year we're going to make every game," said Daniel Jennings Jr.

"To see that name being approved by that panel to go up on the boulevard, it gave me closure," said Daniel Jennings Jr.

Daniel Jennings Jr. says he sees his dad's legacy similarly to Dr. Martin Luther king Jr.'s.

"Cause he died in the same struggle. You know, because of the turbulent times when people were fighting for justice and fighting for a better way of life," said Daniel Jennings Jr.

Daniel Jennings Jr. lives in Detroit and will return home Thursday.

Harrisonburg's decision to rename Cantrell Ave. to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way is making him consider moving here to Harrisonburg. He has two other siblings besides Serena here in the Valley.

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