In the summer of 1967 more than 100 cities in America were caught up in riots.
US Senator Fred Harris urged the President, Lyndon B Johnson, to investigate the causes.
He set up the Kerner Commission and appointed Fred Harris as one of 11 members to find out why America was burning.
The final report shocked many Americans when it blamed white racism for creating and sustaining black ghettos.
Fred Harris spoke to Witness History about that summer.